chinkyfobandy
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What Type of Soil for Raised Vegetable Garden?

Hi everyone,

I'm starting a new raised bed vegetable garden soon, and its going to be raised well off the ground level. So I'm wondering what type of soil should i add to the raised bed. Is regular potting soil and compost all i need? Some tips and advice would be very appreciated.

Thank You,
Andy

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rainbowgardener
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A little bit of potting soil is good to help lighten/loosen up the soil. You wouldn't want your garden bed to be mainly potting soil, it would be too light, tend to wash away, not hold the plant roots as well.

Regular top soil, plus compost, plus composted manure, plus a little bit of potting soil, plus whatever amendments you like to use (perhaps some bone meal, kelp meal etc)
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Joyfirst
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I used as in square foot gardening book - just compost, peat moss and vermiculite(I did add some horse manure too) and everything grew nicely. I did have supports for tomatoes and cucumbers and peas. I also mulch, so maybe that prevents blowing off to some degree.

jmiller1534
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I use 1/4 compost, 1/4 steer manure, 1/2 topsoil for Home Depot

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BrianSkilton
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I usually put in half top soil and half compost. I also add a little peat moss to lighten it up a little if I need to. I also add: bone meal, blood meal, kelp meal. You can buy kumbo and grind it in a spice grinder, it may be cheaper than buying kelp meal. Chances are though you just need topsoil and compost.

The other year I ended up buying loads upon loads of topsoil bags. However this year for my other two 6 x 16 raised beds I ended up getting 15 tons of black dirt dumped on my lot. It was around $200, so since you don't have as much to fill, you could probably could get a fairly good deal. Of course it was over kill but we needed it for other things like tree's that are going in etc. I just recommend, if its a larger bed to get dirt dumped near your driveway, a lot easier then buying a bunch of bags. Not unless it is a smaller raised bed you built.

Whats the dimensions?
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

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rainbowgardener
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My beds are 4x8' by 20" They took a cubic yard each to fill, which I had trucked in, topsoil. Definitely cheaper that way than buying it by the bag.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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BrianSkilton
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indeed rainbowgardener, I learned the hard way last year :( but atleast I learned, :D
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

tedln
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I grow in raised beds and have always used at least fifty percent topsoil. I'm not real picky about the quality of the topsoil I use except I don't want rocks in it. If you are lucky enough to obtain high quality topsoil with lots of organics in it, use as much as seventy percent topsoil. I then mix in at least thirty percent fresh organics, preferably compost; but composted manure works well also. Try to stay away from organics which may have a lot of weed seed or grass seed or grass roots in it. The organisms in the soil and organics will form an almost symbiotic relationship and provide most of the nutrients and minerals required by your plants.

Ted
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shaefins
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Location: Pittsburgh, 6A

We just built a 32 sq' raised bed - the highest part off the ground is about 4', the lowest is about 2' (it's on a slight grade). The boxes are 16" high, but there's only about 10-12" of fill in there. We also have a 16 sq' raised bed at ground level - same height and filled the same way. Here's what we used (all approx, based on my rapidly faltering memory): 1 yard of half mushroom compost and half leaf compost; 3 cf' compressed peat (actually 6 cu' when fluffed out); 2/3 of a 4 cu' bag of vermiculite and 4 50lb bags of a compost that was made of kelp, chicken manure and something else I can't remember.

The kids claim it stinks, but it doesn't bother me. Then again, I love the smell of manure and hay in a horse barn so don't go by me! But you can just tell from the way it looks that it's way better than my soil would have been. :D

One thing I'll tell you...we used a double layer of small holed chicken wire on the bottom, with a layer of weed barrier on top of that. We had to add several wood supports (on top of cinder blocks at all corners and a few middle bracing points - it's a T shaped box) to hold up all that dirt when we wet it down. Be ready for that. :D

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