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Soil adjustments in raised beds

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Soil adjustments in raised beds

Post  backyardgardner on Mon 27 Aug 2012 - 3:52

I am not new to gardening but changing habits. Started doing raised beds this last spring. My soil test have been good. Done by ag agent. Some areas of my garden are really shallow with top soil. So. I have been digging down about a shovel depth or more. Tossing all the clay to one side. Then I would replace that with my own compost mixed with some sand, composted leaves, and some of the top soil and fill in the hole and up to the side boards.

At this time I am using mushroom compost, peatmoss ( store bought ), vermiculite and some of my own compost along with a little sand adding about half of the top soil that I have dug out.

The question I have is that good enough ( I hope to add in some horse manure soon to my mixtures)? Do I need to soil test this or should my mixtures be good enough and simpy replenish the raised bed as it settles?
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Re: Soil adjustments in raised beds

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 27 Aug 2012 - 7:56

Hi BYG, welcome to the SFG forum! glad you\'re here

I think that most of us use the formula for Mels Mix from the new SFG book - 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat. It's a soiless mix that seems to work very well. Did you read the book yet? If not, it's worth checking out.

I'm pretty new to all this so I'll let someone else with more experience using sand & soil answer.

CC
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Re: Soil adjustments in raised beds

Post  plantoid on Mon 27 Aug 2012 - 8:11

Hi BYG welcome to the site.

To answer your question yourself you need to look to the left hand side of your page and click on the bobbly thingy on the " Home page " it will take you to a shed load of useful topics that seem to help newcomers . Look for " how strong is your backbone and composting 101"

If you decide to fuly follow the ethos of the site you'll be needing Mel Bartholomew's " All new Square foot Gardening " book , 2006 edition , to bring you up to speed ofhow we play at our version of square foot gardening .

Our methods work well world wide providing you get a well varied nonsoilbased compost system going after intitially purchasing some basic forms of compost .

Don't rush in like a few have and wilynilly buy without understanding the differences of commercially bagged materials and the stuff you can get very cheaply from the local ammenity waste disposal sites lest you come unstuck.
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Thanks for the suggestions

Post  backyardgardner on Mon 27 Aug 2012 - 9:06

Yes I have copies of the book......just working through what I have at the time..I usually add back part of the soil to help, because I am finding that I have to water more.....we have had some very hot days in the past months here......and the soil helps it to hold the moisture a little longer.......I am getting ready to start more compost piles.

Thanks
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Re: Soil adjustments in raised beds

Post  cheyannarach on Mon 27 Aug 2012 - 9:33

I think your beds sound fine, I have converted all of my beds to Mel's mix and am following the book but if this is working for you and you are making your own compost then topping it off with some composted horse manure will be just fine without having any tests done! Happy gardening!
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