smann
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Best Veggies for a Southern Climate Raised Garden

Last year I started with 10x5 veg patch sitting in hte dirt. Tilled up the GA clay, added in some plant soil from HD. The only thing that grew were a few small brussell sprouts not worth eating, and my blueberry bushes survived...

The broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower and greens all died.

Now, admittedly this could be becuase i moved out of hte house for a spell to live with the girl friend at the time, bad idea never do that... Parents if you need me to tell your kids not to that let me know!

Im back at my parents house now as they live else where, and yesterday i made a 12ft by 8ft box out of lumber, and its 16" deep. Now, i don't want to add clay to it to fill it up as im sure that was part of my problem last year. Am i save to put screened top soil in there, and if so what should i add to the top soil as im filling the box. Ive laid a landscape fabirc underneath the box to stop things from growing through the bottom, probably a non issue but just to be on the safe side.

I know im late in the season but i want to try and get a few things in the ground this summer, what is a good suggestion for a southern veg bed. It gets full sunlight the majority of the day.

Thanks,

Scott

DoubleDogFarm
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Welcome to Helpful Gardener, Scott.

First, If it is not to late, get rid of the weed fabric. You want the plant roots to penetrate into the soil below. You could start out with newspaper or cardboard underneath. It will break down and go away in about a year.

I don't grow in boxed raised beds, but will recommend a 75% soil 25% compost mix.

Eric

smann
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the weed fabric is absolutely easy to get rid, its just laying in there at the moment as dirt is arriving tomorrow morning.

Am i OK to use the top soil and blend in the compost?

Scott

DoubleDogFarm
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What's in the top soil? Do you know if it's a mix or not?

Eric

smann
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Not a clue, all i know is its screened topsoil. my gut instinct is no its not mixed.

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rainbowgardener
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Absolutely agree, get rid of the weed barrier.

Eric's suggestion of a mixture of topsoil and compost is good. If you want to enrich it more throw in a small amount of aged composted manure and peat moss.

Incidentally 12 x8' means you can't reach the stuff in the middle. Part of the point of a raised bed is you don't walk on your soil, so it stays fluffy. I'd put a path down the middle, even if you don't build extra sides.
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gixxerific
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Get rid of that weed barrier you don't need it and you plants don't want it.

If it's not mixed you can easily mix in some compost.

smann
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I plan on putting some paver stones down the middle of it so i can walk between it this way i cant section things off better and have eay access to them. I though about 2 or 3 raised beds but instead just went with one.

cynthia_h
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I'd suggest that part of the reason your "broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower and greens all died" last year is that you tried to grow them in the warmth of an Atlanta summer. I lived through seven or eight of those summers in college; no way are cool/cold-weather veggies going to make it. :)

They'll do better as early spring or fall crops. Right now look to green beans, peppers, okra, and other veggies that LIKE hot weather. I mean, 106 the other day?! Amazing temps....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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GardenRN
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Yes....If you'd like to get hot weather plants go ahead and look around for some that are already well on their way. Its too late to be starting seeds really. I would slow down and plan a cool weather crop for the fall. You can plant everything in mid-late august and have stuff for the autumn. I know it's hard to wait, but I think a rush now won't do you much good.

Think broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage etc...

Incidentally, if you are interested in growing any garlic, the time to plant your cloves would be this fall.....so some early planning for next season may be in order as well. Good luck!! Welcome to the Forum!!
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

smann
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i planted the cold weather veg in november... and you are probably right, it wasnt very cold this past winter here...

smann
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so the box is full of dirt...

Then it rained, and rained some more, and finally it rained some more...

The soil doesnt drain, it created a swimming pool in one area....

So, im obviously not planting this weekend :D

What can i do or add to help it drain better?

cynthia_h
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What did you fill the box with? Please tell me not red Georgia clay....

Raised beds want to be filled with well-draining mixes that include compost, perlite or vermiculite (for those large pore spaces that encourage drainage), and potting mix. You can usually get potting mix/soil from landscaping companies by the cubic YARD at a much better price than by purchasing it in 2-cubic-foot bags.

Right now, I'd add vermiculite and compost if what's in there is (ahem) red Georgia clay....

Oh, also: did you put any sort of landscaping fabric in as a liner? If so, remove it. It will also act as a "plug" and make the raised garden into a bathtub.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

smann
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topsoil about 3/4 and the rest i was going to shop around for some compost and till it in... However, with the bath tub i now have thats a bit hard.

What can i till in the remaining 1/4 to help it drain? The top soil i had looked really good and now im thinknig ive made a big FUBAR of a garden.

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applestar
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I would mix in sand or crushed granite or paver sand and composted shredded bark mulch as well as the compost. Or get coarsely screened compost with larger bits and pieces. Personally I don't like to use perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss. I also like to add rock phosphate and green sand as well as dolomitic lime but the last will depend on the pH of your soil. I have acid blue-green clay soil.

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