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Inherited Raised Beds


My husband and I just moved into a new home. The previous owners were avid gardeners and have 6 beautiful raised garden beds. One already has huge tomato plants and one has a summer squash. The other four have dried up to the point where it's an effort to even get a shovel in there. I would love to start using all of the beds, but I know I have a lot of work before any thing can be planted in them. I'm a beginner gardener (i've only planted herbs in pots) and have no clue what to do. I've read some posts online and I feel like nothing really addresses my problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to make my soil read to plant in? Any suggestion would be much appreciated!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Inherited Raised Beds

what size are your beds and where are you located?

If the season will be ending for you soon and you have cold winters, one thing you can do is just keep piling on a whole bunch of organic stuff - grass clippings, fall leaves when they come down etc. Over winter all that stuff will break down and feed the soil, and help loosen it up. If there's weeds in the beds now, start by cutting down the weeds (you can just leave them where they lay unless they are full of seeds), then cover them with cardboard. Wet the cardboard thoroughly and then pile the grass and leaves etc on top of that. The cardboard will help smother weeds under it and all of it will break down.

But presuming your raised beds are (like most) too small to till, in the spring you will have to do some shovel/fork/hoe work-- turn all the organic stuff under and loosen up the soil.

But what a gift to inherit all that! :) I've been building all mine, because the house we bought last fall had nothing but neglected lawn.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: Facebook page I manage for them: Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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