Raised Bed Gardening: Get the Best Soil First

Soil preparation can be very labor intensive, especially if the soil in your area is of poorer quality. A simple way around this also winds up being much less work. The solution is to build a raised bed garden. A good depth is about 12 inches minimum, but the deeper the better, especially if you’re planning on growing root crops like carrots or fruiting plants with very deep roots like tomatoes.

Go out and get the best soil you can find (or make). Don’t ever settle for what someone tells you is topsoil. All that really means is they scraped it off the top of some nearby part of the earth. Unless you know exactly where it came from, you need to get some assurance that it’s reasonably fertile to start with, even though you are going to amend it anyway once it’s part of your garden.

Good topsoil should have some sand and some clay, but not too much of either component. It should mold together when you squeeze it in your hand but then break apart pretty easily. This indicates that it will drain well and permit the roots of your plants to grow through it without much difficulty.

It’s better to have too much sand in your soil than too much clay. Sandier soil is easier to make right with manure and peat moss. Clay soil can be almost concrete like, and while it can be broken down with sand and gypsum, it’s a lot of effort to bring it back. It’s worth doing your homework on getting the right soil. Check out the video here.

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About Mike Eis

Physician, Author, Marketer, Scientist, Problem Solver, Carpenter and Armchair Philosopher