Hi everyone! I live in North Texas just outside of Dallas. I am building my raised bed this week to prepare it for planting in the spring. So, I've done a bunch of research and I still have tons of questions. My most pressing and urgent ones are:
1. In a raised bed what (if anything) do I need to line it with? I've read to line the entire thing with plastic but that seems like it would not allow proper drainage. It will be 12" high built up on the sides with pressure treated wood. It will only be 8' x 8' to start so it's little...
2. I'll be using soil from my backyard and I've got a whole heck of a lot of goat manure. I plan on tilling the 2 together and let rest for the winter. Is there anything else I need to do? Do I need to add anything else to the soil during the winter? Should I put any other organic matter into the bed all during winter or do I just leave it alone (coffee grounds, veg clipings, mulched leaves, etc)?
3. I want to also start a compost pile. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good thread for newbie composters or can anyone tell me exactly what I need to start? Like, what kind of "structure" do I need to build? Can I just start with garden/yard clippings, mulched up leaves and kitchen scraps (I know enough to know the "right" kind of scraps to compost so no need to go over that part OR do I need to start with a good amount of dirt in addition to the other stuff? Also, doyou have to water your compost pile? If so, my neighbor has a koi fish pond and the water he pumps out of the filter is loaded with lots of rich nutrients from the fish poop....can I use this water for my compost pile or could I use it to water my garden? Or is that just a gross idea? We're both starting garden's together and he mentioned the use of the poop-water.
I am VERY new to all this. I have always wanted to have a veggie patch so I'm really excited and I'm also a knowledge junkie so fire away...I'm ready for your knowledge