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Hi, We have some flowerbeds about 18 inches deep which are currently completely empty. I want to fill them up but I'm thinking that to completely fill them with soil wouldn't be the right idea. So should I put in some rocks/bricks, sand and then topsoil?

Any advice would be appreciated.




It all depends what you want to grow in them.

Hi rik

As matty asked,  what do u intend to grow, bedding ,perennial.

Either way nice deep soil is best.





i'd be thinking green manure straw compost and then topsoil. the green manure and straw will heat and feed the bed.


Hi All,

Thanks for your responses. I don't have the greenest of fingers so am thinking easily maintained perennials is the plan. So what depth of materials do you recommend?





In addition would suggested proportions be the same in different depth beds or is it the depth of the layers that is important?

For example in the 18 inch bed if the suggestion was 6 inch soil, 6 inch sand and 6 inch brick/rock would a 12 inch bed have 4 inch soil, 4 inch sand and 4 inch brick/rock or would it have 6 inch soil and 6 inch sand and no brick/rock?



Just had an online chat with a topsoil merchant and have been advised that all soil no matter what depth is the way to go. Sand / hardcore etc not needed as draining will be fine.

Would anyone passionately disagree with this advice?





I'd put a bag full of multi purpose compost in the mix.

An article in the Telegraph argued that there is no point in placing pebbles or shards in the bottom of whatever, the reason behind it I cannot repeat (something to do with capillarity). But as it rains like hell where I live, and the containers with shards keep having better crops than those without I won´t say anything else.

But definitely, add some sand. If the place your flowerbeds are gets a lot of exposure to rain, you´ll regret you haven´t. Too sunny in summer? All right, be content with one fifth grits, mixed well along very good compost. Because even the best brand will get soaked with frequent rain, and your plants will suffer.

After planting, don´t forget to mulch. If you can´t find dry leaves in bulk, buy something like decorative stones or bark chips. This will help your plants keep moist and in the right temperature.



These containers.....18" deep but how wide?  Are they troughs?  Are they pots?  You said "flowerbeds" ....??  Are you talkIn g about raising the height of your garden soil?

It depends on what you want to grow in them.  If shrubs, they need compost for the entire depth.  If annuals.....plants just for the summer....then you can put anything half way down and then just use compost for top half.

Let us know what you want to grow and then we can suggest right "soil"

Thanks Matty2 / rusflorum / Verdun.

Weather wise when it rains the beds get soaked as there is no cover from trees or other garden buildings. And similarly when the sun is out they get direct sun throughout the afternoon.

I'm planning a mix of easy to maintain perennial shrubs and flowers.

The beds themselves are all raised, hence the depth, and are 36 inches wide and I have a run of about 15 metres around the garden.

What do you think?




If they are raised the drainage should be OK, but for perennials and shrubs then good garden topsoil mixed with a bit of compost would be my choice. Not rocks and bricks. For shallow rooting veg or annuals you wouldn't need such deep earth.

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