Setting up the flower beds
Diary of a flower farmer

Setting up the flower beds

I feel like I have been setting up these beds for a year! I haven't, it has been three months, but it feels like a lot longer. I am starting out with 16 rows that will be divided into 3 beds per row. So that's 48 beds. My beds are going to be 12m x 1.2m wide. This is the recommendation by Cel from Forever Green Flower Co (I did her Advanced Flower Farming Course and now taking her mentorship programme. Both I really recommend). The idea is that if all your beds are the same length then all your irrigation is the same length and your mypex etc. It also makes your seed sowing schedule easier too. 

I finally got in some help with making them up as it is taking too long. The area was rotivated by Tractor Man (Andrew) back in October. We are now liming it - using powdered calcium carbonate as my pH is way to low (5 to be precise) which will help raise the pH level. We are then laying on a thick layer of mushroom compost, which is a higher pH so that also helps with the acidity. As we aren't  ready to plant into the beds yet, we are covering them with mypex so that the nutrients of the soil and compost are not washed away. This will also suppress weeds once they start germinating. 

I am going to plant all my annuals into mypex to reduce weeding time. So I will be burning holes into it at the correct plant spacing using an aluminium template. I can see this going wrong. Not sure I trust myself with the blow torch.

Alas, I can't plant perennials into this as they will grown too big and are clump forming so a nightmare if I ever need to take the mypex off. 

I was going to cover all the paths with mypex but opted for keeping the narrow ones in woodchip as looks so much nice. I may regret this. It is not the first time I have chosen beauty over practicality in life.  My paths are 55cm wide and then every 4 beds I have a 1m wide path to fit my trolley in. 

To give you an idea on cost of all of this here is a little breakdown if useful:


- 100m roll of 1.2m wide mypex approx £100

- box of 100 ground staples approx £15 (one of my rows takes a whole box)

- pallets are free (cos I have made friends with local building merchants and chat with their forklift drivers whenever I am there!) Need these to help keep the mypex down as its a bit windy

- mushroom compost is around £53 per cubic metre bag and each row takes 2.5 bags

- woodchip is free as I am harassing local tree surgeons. 


Hope this is helpful to those also setting up their beds. I should add that these are for perennials and annuals. Not for shrubs, dahlias or roses! 



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