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By Juie2

Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom Gb

I bought my first house in the summer, and with it inherited a unusually large (for the area) but alas heavily concreted garden. There are numerous flat beds and raised beds, but the raised ones are full of ornatmental stones. I would like to grow vegetables in one of these beds, but am not sure of how feasable this is. The bed is made of concrete pillars and sides and full of the following, from top to bottom: limestone chippings, a black membrane, sand, a mixture of broken slabs, bits of brick, lumps on concrete etc. It was the last mix of rubbish that was unexpected, as I was hoping that once I took the stones off there would just be regular dirt underneath.

So, do I have to dig out all of the rubble before I can put soil in? Or can I put soil on top of the rubble? How deep does the soil have to be, and can I put it directly on top of the rubble.sand mixture?



That sounds like a real hassle to me - not a lot will thrive without fertile soil, whether it's veggies or flowers.

You don't say what the depth is - but I would say that you need at least a foot, if not 18" of soil in there to grow anything - and if you decide on shrubs after all, then even deeper. You'll need rich soil, so well-rotted manure, compost etc will have to replace all that 'stuff' that's in there - Oh dear - watch your back - it sounds like hard work to me.

Good luck!

8 Mar, 2010


I agree with SP if you really want to grow anything you are going to have to remove all the rubble etc. down to a good depth. You certainly could not grow veg. on 2 or 3 inches of soil with rubble beneath that. Nor any alpine plants come to that lol!

8 Mar, 2010


Well it's a good while on since I asked this question but I just wanted to say thank you for the advice, and also let you know that I have done it!

It took some serious digging and earth moving, a good time trying to mooch soil of people but I finally got there, have planted things and they are growing happily!

I started a blog ages ago about my new house and all the latest garden pictures are there - strawberries, onions, courgettues, mange tout - all sorts! Please feel free to have look, I welcome all comments!

10 Jun, 2010


Well done Julie2 - bet you feel pleased with yourself.

10 Jun, 2010


That's great news! I bet it really was hard work - but you've got there. :-)

11 Jun, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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