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2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

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2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  Roseinarosecity on 1/3/2017, 11:06 pm

My friend built an 8 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft bed, now he's asking me what to fill the bed.  He's itching to start gardening immediately.  The top layer will have a Mel's mix, but the bottom doesn't need this "premium mix."  Would it be ok to fill the bottom 12 inches with "top soil"?

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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  camprn on 1/4/2017, 12:09 am

Roseinarosecity wrote:My friend built an 8 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft bed, now he's asking me what to fill the bed.  He's itching to start gardening immediately.  The top layer will have a Mel's mix, but the bottom doesn't need this "premium mix."  Would it be ok to fill the bottom 12 inches with "top soil"?
Yes, false bottom, dirt, compost.

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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/4/2017, 12:28 am

Yes!  And leaves, whatever raw compostable material too!  Lots of it!  It will break down eventually.
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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  Mikesgardn on 1/4/2017, 12:56 am

Unless you are growing extra long carrots, you wont need 2 feet of organic matter. Consider filling the bottom half with sand. It wont decompose and settle. I converted my kids sandbox to a garden the same way.
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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  countrynaturals on 1/4/2017, 1:48 am

Roseinarosecity wrote:My friend built an 8 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft bed, now he's asking me what to fill the bed.  He's itching to start gardening immediately.  The top layer will have a Mel's mix, but the bottom doesn't need this "premium mix."  Would it be ok to fill the bottom 12 inches with "top soil"?
My beds are 3' high. We filled the bottom 2' with yard debris, wood chips, horse manure, leaves, fireplace ashes, old newspapers, and compost (raw and decomposed). My "soil" sank over 6" in just one season. That was okay for my annuals, I can just add more mix as I replant, but the plants in my perennial herb bed are also down 6" which isn't good. I'm not sure if they would be happier left alone or if I should try to "transplant" them up a few inches in the spring. Top soil shouldn't shrink this much, but it will probably go down a little.
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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  sanderson on 1/4/2017, 7:51 am

Lesson here. . . fill the bottom with something that won't decompose such as native fill, sand, plywood bottom part way down, etc. Spread weed fabric and fill the top with Mel's Mix.

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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  trolleydriver on 1/4/2017, 1:10 pm

sanderson wrote:Lesson here. . .  fill the bottom with something that won't decompose such as native fill, sand, plywood bottom part way down, etc.  Spread weed fabric and fill the top with Mel's Mix.  
Fully agree with using a high quality weed fabric. I would be careful with using soil/fill that may contain weeds that will seek out and thrive in the delicious Mel's Mix while they remaining rooted in the soil below and therefore difficult to remove.

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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/5/2017, 3:24 am

Mikesgardn wrote:Unless you are growing extra long carrots, you wont need 2 feet of organic matter.  Consider filling the bottom half with sand.  It wont decompose and settle.  I converted my kids sandbox to a garden the same way.
Good idea.
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Re: 2 Ft deep bed-what to fill the bottom half?

Post  Roseinarosecity on 1/7/2017, 2:25 am

Thanks, I appreciate the input.

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