I have created 4 new raised beds in my allotment today and filled them with soil, my aim is to transplant established (4 years old) rhubarb plants into one from the pots they are in and use the other 3 for strawberries which again have been established and cropped from pots for the last 2 years.

A friend of mine has been giving me black bags of pigeon manure mixed with sawdust from his pigeon loft which I have been storing and keeping in the bags to rot down.

I have put this pigeon manure in these new raised beds most of the bags I used have been in my allotment for at least 3-4 months but a couple where given to me fresh this week having been cleaned out of the loft in the past few weeks.

Having read online post spreading the manure (I know I should have read before) I am now concerned this pigeon manure will burn the roots of my rhubard and strawberries. I have dug it in well to about a foot of depth in the raised beds and each raised bed is the size of a wooden pallet.

I have put the Rhubarb in but can lift them and re pot them again if needed. How long should I ideally leave the beds now before I plant in them and should I lift my rhubarb out?

1 Answer 1


You are taking a risk planting rhubarb and strawberries in fresh-ish manure. If we could rewind time it might have been better to load all the manure on one bed, pile it high and plant squash family plants in it. The squash would have done very well and it would give the manure time to become weathered and decompose more fully.

Rhubarb appreciates a deep, rich soil with well rotted organic matter evenly distributed. Watch your rhubarb carefully - if it does well in your mix leave well alone, but if it looks slow to get established pull the plants and replant in regular garden soil without amendments and repeat the experiment next spring.

Strawberries mostly worry about the top 9 inches of soil; if you incorporated the manure deeply you may be ok, but plant the crowns in a top layer of regular soil over the manure amended layer below.

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