david1548
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The right soil mix

Hi, new here. I'm about to build some raised beds. I live in stow ohio. Where would be the best place to get the right soil?Who do you go to get the right organic mix? Thank you.

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shadylane
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Location: North Central Illinois

Re: The right soil mix

Start with top soil and add your own compost..it takes a couple of years for compost to build up. You only need a few inches to lay on top of the soil. Each year it will build up to a nice soft loam soil. You will notice an ambrosia of earth that fills the air that no other so called manufactured "Organic soil" will ever do, (and I suspect just doesn't have it in it.) Yet not to mention all other available nutrients for plants and controlling soil born plant diseases by using your own "storehouse of soil nutrients".
The cost...$300.-400. for black top soil.. lumber cost would vary depending on the type. I want to say it took $800-out of my pocket.

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Re: The right soil mix

One note of caution, in this country there is no clear definition of top soil if you are buying it. It could be good organic rich top soil or it might not be. Ideally you would like something like sandy loam, you might however be sold clay which is very hard to amend. It is also possible to simply fill the boxes with mushroom compost if you can buy it by the yard. It will then have to be added to every year as it will continue to compost down, but you would want to add compost yearly anyway. That is what I finally used in my carrot boxes, because I need something that did not have rocks and wasn't going to lump up. That was about 10 years ago and all 3 are still growing great crops (3 for rotation purposes). Whatever you choose, it will be cheaper by the yard by far than by the bag.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: The right soil mix

You can make Mel's Mix if you are not sure of the quality of your soil
https://www.jungseed.com/files/SFG%20soil%20recipe.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: The right soil mix

Anything you buy in a bag is likely heavy in sawdust and peat. Maybe a little sand? Throw in a little plant food in the form of NPK and it will grow things.

If you have some top dirt from your lot you can use some of that and add some peat and sand. Have fun!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

lexusnexus
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Location: MD Suburbs of DC, 7a

Re: The right soil mix

Concur with the above that just buying "top soil" doesn't tell you where it came from. Accept the fact that you won't have that rich, loamy soil that we gardeners crave for a few years. It will have to be built up over time. Find a local source for your soil. A local nursery that you know and trust should have soil for you. Until you build up a good supply of your own compost you will have to buy it. A bag of compost is either 1 or 1.5 cubic feet and runs from $3.50 to $4.99 per bag. To give you an idea on how many bags you will need the 1 cubic foot bag covers about 18" X 30" X 3". Add about 30% more coverage for the 1.5 cubic foot bag. If you have a truck (or friend with one) you can buy it by the cubic yard much cheaper than several bags. I have a traditional in-ground garden with an 8' deer fence (yeah, we have a huge deer problem here in the burbs because we have too many Bambi lovers) so others here can provide guidance on building the raised bed.
Dan - "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..." Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karnevil #9

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: The right soil mix

If you have a green waste facility near you, you can buy compost by the truckload a lot cheaper.

My local facility also sells a garden mix with compost, cinder and manure already blended and ready to load into your truck bed. Some people prefer sand, coarse sand is better. Cinder is just easier to get here. Sorry, beach sand won't work well. Buying bulk is much cheaper than by the bag.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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