concrete base for raised garden bed?

by Glenn
(Western Australia)

I am restricted to a concrete base in my raised garden, my garden is 3m x 1.5m x 1m deep.
I have put 300mm of pea straw in the base then layered sheep manure 2 cm thick, a layer of rich soil, then a sprinkle of blood and bone, then pea straw, then manure and so on. Then I topped it with 300mm of good quality soil and covered it over with mulch, all watered in with seasol seaweed solution.

My Question is, Have I done this correctly as my vegies are doing great (2 weeks on) or will I have problems from the concrete in the future?

Secondly, my garden has subsided a little with the decompsing of materials, do I just top it up with another couple of layers as in the first build or what is the go there?
Cheers Glenn

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Dec 05, 2010
2nd Season No Dig
by: George

Hi Glen and welcome to the wonderful world of "No Dig". When due to a heart attack 11 years ago I lost the ability to dig, I went "No Dig" and found as you have, that there is no information on what to do for the 2nd season. I have studied Organic Horticulture, read all I can find and spent 1000's of hours on the WWW to no avail. So I started building five compost heaps using as wide a varirty of ingredients as I could find for free. I now use horse/sheep/chicken manure, seaweed (my favourite ingredient)pine needles/lawn clippings, hedge cuttings, weeds (yes I use them all, particularly dandelions and docks as they have long tap roots)yarrow and stinging nettles (as compost activators along with my Comfrey)from the side of the road and all the neighbours compostable stuff I see them taking to the tip. Every year now I just cover empty beds with compost and let my buddies the worms do the digging for me. The other "secret" of organic gardening is mulch/mulch/mulch, and if I cannot find any I use "half finished compost'" which I have been told is not good but it works for me so I do it. Although I live in N.Z. I have lived in W.A. and the hotter weather may need some experimenting to get it right. But, have a go, it can be fun all the way.

Dec 10, 2010
concrete base for raised garden
by: Ellen

Hi, Glenn.....Sounds like you are off to a great start. I live in No. Florida, and for several years I gardened in raised beds made of concrete building blocks. I think the concrete leached elements into the dirt -- can't prove it -- but I never noticed any ill effects. No-dig is perfect for this method. I now have a 400 that I began with layers of newspaper, etc. and my method of preparing for the next season crops is to add more paper only where weeds come up, and from there compost and mulch take care of the rest -- everything George suggested come into my garden in one form or another. I especially waste no garden refuse, and 'unused' marigold, nastursium, etc. plants that I chop up and scatter everywhere. This year I have a patch of peppermint that keeps growing, and that's where I planted the cabbages and broccoli. I plan to try other winter veggies in with the peppermint. Not a bug in sight. Yesterday I discovered a huge old frog hiding under the straw in the potato patch -- first one I've seen, but I know he and the worms are helping big time.
Good luck. Hope you enjoy no-dig as much as I do.

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