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New Garden on former above ground pool base

I'm looking for some guidance on how to start a garden at our new house. I'm completely new to this so any advice would be appreciated.

The former owners had an above ground pool in the backyard, and what is left is a large circular sand/gravel pad. The pad is pretty compact and solid. I still think I can till it up to loosen it though.

Would it be better to mix in compost/black dirt into the sand base, or build a raised bed on top of the sand base (surrounded by timber, etc)? Or is there a better way to approach this?


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If there is much gravel in the sand/gravel mix, I would opt for a raised bed, especially if you plan to grow any root crops. JMO. :)
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I like the latter approach and think it's a good thought. Perhaps a spiral path into the circle? Very biodynamic (make sure it's a counterclockwise spiral 8) ). You could build up with timber or cinder block or stone or any of a number of things. Or a [url=]keyhole style garden[/url]; just remember to make your paths so you don't have to walk on your beds...

Scott Reil

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Agree with all the above. Not only is there no way to get all the sand/gravel back out, but the dirt below it is super compacted and basically dead, since there's been no light, air, or water reaching it.

I had a similar choice to make. When we bought our house, the main sunny area has a concrete patio on it. I thought about trying to have the patio jackhammered out. But not only was that prohibitively expensive, but the ground under there would be just as dead. I built raised beds on top of it, which I am quite happy with.
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