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Soil for a Raised Bed

By Edited Aug 6, 2016 2 2

I like to get my soil for a raised bed before I start building it. It just seems to get done faster if I do this part before the building.

When choosing the soil you need to decide if you want to use native soil that you might already have on your property, purchase garden soil, or create soil using a combination of both.

If you decide to go with the native soil you should have a soil test done to determine if your soil is lacking in any nutrients and whether or not your soil is acid or alkaline. If you happen to be one of the lucky few that has nice, easy to work, and fertile soil you can go this route.

Using native soil as a base for a mixture that you want to create can save a few dollars, but it is a bit of work. You need to figure out what you need to add to your native soil to make it better. Compost is almost always #1 here. Not many native soils can be harmed by the addition of compost. Maybe a swamp but I've never lived in a swamp so I can't tell you what to do in that case.

Clay soil likes compost which you can make at home, as does sand, and rocky soils. I personally like adding sand to my clay, I realize this is a somewhat controversial issue but it works for me. Other organic matter that could be used is aged leaves, grass clipping, I like to shred my junk mail and add it in, and paper sacks from the grocery store. There is more that I could write but you get the picture.

Good bagged garden soil from your local big box store can be used to stretch your native soil, potting soil, peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Buy what your budget can stand and use the native soil for the rest.

You could go all bagged garden soil that is more expensive but it is the easiest way to go. I still prefer adding some organics into it, with my clay I'm a bit obsessed about adding stuff anywhere I can.

Figure out how much you will need for the area x depth you are planning to do and then get just a little more if you are like me and tend to mess up on the math stuff. If you end up with more than you need you can use it in other areas or save it for the next raised bed, you do realize there is going to be another don't you?

If you plan to make additional raised beds you may want to start building a compost pile to save on purchasing compost at a later date. Plan on it anyway you can never have too much compost, raised beds or flat beds.

Congratulations you have completed the second part of the raised garden vegetable bed series, Soil for a Raised Bed, and you STILL haven't got a raised bed. I really hope this is going somewhere.

Garden(45184)

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Comments

Oct 1, 2009 11:33pm
mommyhen42
Very good information, I like that you also shred paper for your garden. Don't forget the coffee grounds while you are at it, worms really love the coffee grounds and we can all use these guys in our gardens
Mar 7, 2012 3:03pm
Lynsuz
I agree with mommyhen42, I always use shredded paper and the worms so love coffee grounds. We are building a raised bed this year. Mainly for herbs and some butterfly plants.
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