How to prepare a seed bed
by Frann Leach
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If you want to use an area of stony soil for a seed bed, or for growing carrots and other root crops, you will need to make careful preparations before you can use it. Although this may seem to be a lot of work, bear in mind that it's a one-off. A seed bed is not included in the standard crop rotation, so you only need to do this level of preparation for your seed bed one time. And if you're preparing a bed for root vegetables, it will still be there when the rotation comes round to grow them in the same bed again.

What you will need for this project:

  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow (unless you have space for a heap of soil next to the area you are working on)
  • Tarpaulin or carpet to cover the heap of soil
  • Garden sieve
  • Wood or plastic pegs (about 20-30cm long)
  • Mallet
  • Brightly coloured twine or string
  1. Mark out the area you wish to use with pegs and string
  2. Dig out all the soil to a depth of 30cm and pile it up somewhere convenient
  3. Cover the heap to keep off the rain
  4. Using the garden sieve, sift the soil back into the hole, removing stones as you go (If the soil is heavy clay, you may prefer to replace it with good quality bought in top soil or sieved home made loam).
©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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