gohootergo
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Location: Ohio

Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

I live in Zone 6 and plan on planting Oriental Lilies, Peonies and 3 Rose Bushes.

I was planning on using the following:

30% Top Soil
30% Peat Moss
20% Coarse Sand
20% Compost/Manure (Bagged) - Hoping for 5 different brands/sources, including mushroom compost and cow manure.

I am planning on mixing either some bonemeal or slow release fertilizer (4-10-10).

Thoughts or suggestions?

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

Re: Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

Sounds like a good combination if you get a good quality top soil. Watch the bags of compost if you are buying them. Sometimes they have added lime. Mushroom compost and some composts will be alkaline. Peat moss is acidic.

I prefer to go with a balanced fertilizer. If you are going more organic realize that nitrogen will be the hardest element to get enough of. An organic fertilizer with 10-10-10 will not have 10% nitrogen available, some of that will be bound and not available as it will release slowly.

Plant growth will be limited by the amount of nitrogen available. So, you may still need to supplement nitrogen in the early growth stages with fish emulsion, AACT, and side dressings of nitrogen.

In a new bed the soil microbes population will not be very high. It will take almost 3 years for the beds to be at maximum efficiency.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

gohootergo
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Location: Ohio

Re: Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

I'm not going organic, but just trying to make a fertle soil since sand and peat moss will make up 50% of my mix.

I want to stay slightly acidic, but even with the manure and mushroom compost, I'm guessing (I will be buying a pH/moisture meter) will still be acidic.

I'm not a fan of the bagged manure, but haven't found any good alternatives, but I will be visiting a nursery. Any suggestions to increase the fertility or amount of fertiler I should add.

Also, I was afaird to put too much nitrogen in due to burning the new plants.

Also I read you should water with Epsom salt for roses? Would this work for lilies also?

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

Epsom salt is to add magnesium. It depends where you are. High rainfall areas can actually have too much magnesium.
Bagged composted manure is better than fresh. Fresh manure should be composted or aged at least 120 days for most pathogens to be destroyed. Fresh manures may also contain weed seeds.

It is actually better to get a soil test than to guess what you might need. It really is not a good thing too have too much either.

A soil test will tell you exactly how many pounds and what kind of fertilizer to use. Slow release nitrogen is always better, but plants require more nitrogen at some stages of growth then others. If there is any unfinished compost in your soil, the microbes will also demand more nitrogen.

My soil test does not measure nitrogen because it is a volatile element. There is always a nitrogen recommendation and the total nitrogen requirement needs to be divided in 2-3 doses.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Susan W
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Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

Sounds good. I would make some adjustments. You may eliminate the sand if you see what's in your bagged stuff. Black Kow poo (Lowes and perhaps other stores) has sand in it. Rather than peat, use more bagged compost. I like Natures Helper (HDep and other stores) and cotton burr (Not cotton seed). Some bagged top has sand.
For a soil building all purpose slow release fertilizer, you can add Epsoma (Plant tone, garden tone etc).
If there are no worms were you are putting in the bed, find some and re-home to the area. There could be happy in that soil mix.
Have fun!
Susan

gohootergo
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Location: Ohio

Re: Filling new raised bed (about 50 ft³) What soil to use?

A lot of the bagged stuff contained quite a bit of sand in it already, (I noticed today when mixing it up).

I haven't had much luck finding a good bagged compost, other then manure/compost mixture which is chunky and heavy.

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