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  • Lord_Gardener
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 07, 11:13 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 07, 11:13 AM
    Might be worth checking out your local freecycle!

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freecyclebrighton/
    I'm mad!!!! and celebrating everyday every year!!!
  • bha.fatboy
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 07, 12:19 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 07, 12:19 PM
    I have already posted on there but thanks
  • kethry
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 07, 1:07 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 07, 1:07 PM
    we have the same problem: filling new raised beds, and instead of going for topsoil, i went for the compost option. slightly more expensive than free soil, but i looked around on the council website (I'm in manchester so that specific website is no good to you!) for composters, and found a company recycling all the fruit and veg waste off the local market, turning it into compost. great stuff, we've just had a cubic square meter (or so) delivered for 12.50, and unlike manure, you can use it straight away. get onto Brighton Council, they may offer something similar, many councils are these days, if nothing else, composting all the garden waste from parks etc., in an effort to reduce the landfill problems.

    what you need to do is to dig your bed out, dig the topsoil out, fill with the compost, then put the topsoil back. thats what i'm doing, and growing me own veg there - they should have a super start with all this compost (it was still steaming when they delivered it!).

    HTH

    keth
    xx
    • torbrex
    • By torbrex 4th Mar 07, 7:35 AM
    • 59,971 Posts
    • 95,350 Thanks
    torbrex
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 07, 7:35 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 07, 7:35 AM
    Have you tried your local council, I know that here in Fife they usually have something available.
    It's so nice to be insane,
    No-one asks you to explain.

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  • Debt_Free_Chick
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 07, 8:48 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 07, 8:48 AM
    Not free, but I had 15 tonnes of excellent t/s from DMS near Lewes, which was the best price I could find in East Sussex.
  • pippo
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 07, 12:48 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 07, 12:48 PM
    Durham County Council are giving away compost on particular days through March & April it was in the council news letter & should be on their website - hope this helps somebody here in the north.
  • bha.fatboy
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 07, 1:38 PM
    Mrw 15 tonnes. That is a lot of top soil. How much did that amount cost if you do not
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 07, 1:38 PM
    Not free, but I had 15 tonnes of excellent t/s from DMS near Lewes, which was the best price I could find in East Sussex.
    by Debt_Free_Chick
    Wow 15 tonnes that is a lot of topsoil. How much did it cost you if you do not mind me asking? I have e-mailed them so hope they get back to me

    cheers
  • Debt_Free_Chick
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 07, 2:12 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 07, 2:12 PM
    Wow 15 tonnes that is a lot of topsoil. How much did it cost you if you do not mind me asking? I have e-mailed them so hope they get back to me

    cheers
    by bha.fatboy
    394 but delivery was in addition. We knew someone locally with a tipper truck who delivered for 100 Bear in mind that we might have got a discounted price for the quantity, though

    However, our previous quote for was two loads at 374 EACH from Gardenscape, so we ended up paying (nearly) half what we'd originally budgeted. Also, we mixed the topsoil with some of our existing clay, which had been worked with copious amounts of manure & compost over the past 4 years.

    And we didn't buy "pure" topsoil - it was 7:1:1 of topsoil, mushroom compost and horticultural grit. Not sure if this made it more or less expensive though! But it's beautiful stuff and will be lovely to work with.

    We've just built four raised beds from railway sleepers as we grow a lot of veg. We're trying to be almost self sufficient in veg, but that will be really difficult to achieve in practice. I would guess - somewhat unscientifically - that we were previously 75% self sufficient, but hope to increase that to 90-95% in the next 12 months. March-June is difficult to cope with

    We eat a lot of potatoes and will never grow enough to be self sufficient , but our best effort was 2005/2006 when we bought no potatoes from July through to February

    I need to be more planned for Winter veg, especially brassicas. I'm planning to have some fresh winter veg right through from November 2007 to March 2008 - cabbage, cauli, kale, leeks, purple sprouting, sprouts, parsnips & swiss chard will be the backbone of this plan, if only I can keep up with the constant sowing, transplanting & thinning!

    If only it would stop raining - it's driving me potty as we are on Wealden clay and the whole area is a complete quagmire. I could change my clothes three or four times a day at the moment as I have an energetic Springer to exercise!
  • cornishpirate
    Whatever you do make sure you get it from a reputable source and that it is free from pest and diseases! Down here in Cornwall there is no end of trouble with Japanese Knot Weed, which once rooted is extremely hard to treat.
    • angelavdavis
    • By angelavdavis 5th Mar 07, 6:02 PM
    • 4,705 Posts
    • 7,325 Thanks
    angelavdavis
    I live further along the coast in St Leonards and can say who not to go to! I went to stamco and what I got was sandy subsoil - I was really disappointed to be honest. I spent a fortune adding nutrients to it before I could plant up my beds last year.

    Not only that, but one bag had a layer of rubble buried in it about half way down the bag! It was delivered while I had popped out so I wasn't in a position to send it back.

    I have to say though, its clear you get what you pay for. I had never bought topsoil before so had no idea of price. I paid £80 for a one tonne bag and had four bags delivered.

    My garden recovered and we managed to get quite a bit out of the vegetable garden: http://groups.msn.com/AngelasPhotographicEmporium/gardenproject2005.msnw?Page=2
    Last edited by angelavdavis; 05-03-2007 at 6:04 PM.
    Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!
  • Debt_Free_Chick
    I live further along the coast in St Leonards
    by angelavdavis
    Between Battle & Rye
  • marleyboy
    I live in Manchester, my problem stems with the garden, I'm guessing the previous tenant had a lawn, and removed it, as the layer in my garden seems too low, and just saturates in the rain, when I moved in it was overrun with weeds as tall as me. So i had the task of motivating the soil after de-weeding, it took a good 3 months for it to grow any kind of lawn, but the lawn is just too muddy, my Son cant play football in the garden as he literally sinks. I tried to make a makeshift drainage system, just a trough around the edge of the lawn, but its still not good enough, I'm wondering what to do next, I dont want to invest a large sum of money an a new lawn, and would only consider top soil if it were a reasonable price, as my property is rented. Anyone got any tips or ideas???
    1+1+1=1
    "Marleyboy you are a legend!"
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  • MissBehaving
    We have some that you can have for free. We built a deck out the back and hired a skip. There was to much soil for the skip, so we still have it.

    We live in AShford, Kent though.
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion".
  • Noah'strolly
    I too am looking for topsoil. We took up a small, 2mx2m patio a few years ago and put some topsoil down, then grasses it. We didn't get all the rubble under it up so the grass never really flourished. So one day I got a mad idea and began digging it all up again. About 20 trips to the tip (with a boot full of rubble filled buckets) later I now have a huge hole in my lawn!
    I thought about pinching soil from the boarders but it wouldn't go far.
    Why do I start these things?:confused: !
    • angelavdavis
    • By angelavdavis 6th Mar 07, 9:07 AM
    • 4,705 Posts
    • 7,325 Thanks
    angelavdavis
    Between Battle & Rye
    by Debt_Free_Chick
    Hey, great to see a local online!
    Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!
    • angelavdavis
    • By angelavdavis 6th Mar 07, 9:23 AM
    • 4,705 Posts
    • 7,325 Thanks
    angelavdavis
    I live in Manchester, my problem stems with the garden, I'm guessing the previous tenant had a lawn, and removed it, as the layer in my garden seems too low, and just saturates in the rain, when I moved in it was overrun with weeds as tall as me. So i had the task of motivating the soil after de-weeding, it took a good 3 months for it to grow any kind of lawn, but the lawn is just too muddy, my Son cant play football in the garden as he literally sinks. I tried to make a makeshift drainage system, just a trough around the edge of the lawn, but its still not good enough, I'm wondering what to do next, I dont want to invest a large sum of money an a new lawn, and would only consider top soil if it were a reasonable price, as my property is rented. Anyone got any tips or ideas???
    by marleyboy
    The problem sounds like a fairly tricky one to fix cheaply, you would have to install drainage channels of gravel under the lawn - something called a french drain:

    http://www.stylegardens.co.uk/web_garden/diy%20pages/diysos1c.html
    http://landscaping.about.com/cs/lazylandscaping/ht/French_drains.htm
    http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/frenchdrains.htm

    Basically, you have to dig channels about six inches high under the lawn sloping away from the house and toward a big hole - known as a soakaway that you need to dig out at the lowest point (away from the house). Line the hole/channel with landscaping fabric and top with gravel, compacting well. Cover the gravel with more landscaping fabric, soil and replace the lawn over the top.

    The first and last links say to use porose pipe lining the hole, but I have found gravel to be adequate - it really depends on the size of the problem. You would need to place the channels across the lawn area so they can drain the water away.

    The preference is to put the soakaway into the border area, so the plants use the water, rather than run the risk of an area that might turn boggy still being on your lawn.
    Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!
    • angelavdavis
    • By angelavdavis 6th Mar 07, 9:27 AM
    • 4,705 Posts
    • 7,325 Thanks
    angelavdavis
    I too am looking for topsoil. We took up a small, 2mx2m patio a few years ago and put some topsoil down, then grasses it. We didn't get all the rubble under it up so the grass never really flourished. So one day I got a mad idea and began digging it all up again. About 20 trips to the tip (with a boot full of rubble filled buckets) later I now have a huge hole in my lawn!
    I thought about pinching soil from the boarders but it wouldn't go far.
    Why do I start these things?:confused: !
    by Noah'strolly
    Remember that last year in particular was really dry - depending on where you lived and no one's lawn was great!

    The other option in your case is to remove half the soil from the borders and then make a visit to your local stables and get hold of some rotted manure. Mix with the lawn/border soil to top up the levels. You will run the risk of some weeds being introduced by the manure but this is the cheapest option I can think of, other than freecycle.

    Another option is to produce your own compost, but if your garden isn't too large, your compost heap not very productive and you don't have large shrubs to shred to add to produce compost, you are going to have to wait forever to get enough.
    Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!
  • i am really rich!!
    I live further along the coast in St Leonards ]
    by angelavdavis
    I'm in St Leonards too, just thought I'd pop that in, nothing to do with top soil
  • Pink_butterfly
    Have you tried looking in your local paper? Thats where we got ours from.
    What the Deuce?
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