Pmalone
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Possible large newbie mistake

I am starting a new vegetable garden and I'm afraid I may have made a big mistake. I just build three 4'x3' garden boxes. We filled each box with 8 cuft of garden soil, 1 cuft of vermiculite, 20lbs of compost manure, and 1 cuft of topsoil. One of my friends told me that for raised garden beds I should have used potting soil. He's worrried the Sta-green garden soil I used is just an additive for already existing soil. Anyone know if I have a real problem here, and if so what I should do about it?
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Dillbert
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worry not. you're fine.

no problem.

everyone has an opinion.....

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jal_ut
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I think you are ok. Go ahead and plant. Have a great garden.

Potting soil? Have you ever looked at the ingredients in that bagged stuff? It varies, but mostly it contains peat, vermiculite, perlite, sawdust. None of which are very high in nutrients, but do serve as a place to anchor roots.

As far as soils go, anchoring the roots is the first requirement. Water retention and providing nutrients are important soil functions too.

Manure and compost are good sources of nitrogen and other plant nutrition.

Natural soils are based on clay, silt and sand. They also contain water, air, organic matter, chemicals, and a host of living organisms.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

veggiedan
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Location: Central TX 8b

I think you'll be fine, as others have said. Bagged "garden soil" is indeed mostly crap, but the cheapest crap is topsoil. Cheaper than peat, vermiculite, and even sawdust. You'll get plenty of minerals from that topsoil. The peat and sawdust will break down nicely over the months as well. As noted, the most important function of soil is to anchor roots. The way I think of it is in terms of hydroponic gardens. You can grow stuff without any soil at all, and the water additives needed for hydroponics are really pretty minimal. But the plants can't hold themselves up. One way to look at soil is just a medium to hold plants up, while the roots are bathed in moisture.

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prettygurl
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veggiedan wrote:I think you'll be fine, as others have said. Bagged "garden soil" is indeed mostly crap, but the cheapest crap is topsoil. Cheaper than peat, vermiculite, and even sawdust. You'll get plenty of minerals from that topsoil. The peat and sawdust will break down nicely over the months as well. As noted, the most important function of soil is to anchor roots. The way I think of it is in terms of hydroponic gardens. You can grow stuff without any soil at all, and the water additives needed for hydroponics are really pretty minimal. But the plants can't hold themselves up. One way to look at soil is just a medium to hold plants up, while the roots are bathed in moisture.
I couldn't agree more.

Pmalone, one of the golden rules of gardening is find what works for you and stick with it.

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