One of the prime benefits of gardening on raised beds is that you get to control the soil. This is crucial if you live in locations where the native soil is either hard-packed or worried about the pollutants. Healthy soil is very important to have a healthy garden. Therefore, make sure that you have good quality soil to set up your vegetables for success.
Your above ground garden planters can be of any size, but if you go for a standard rectangular bed, it is recommended that you go for a 3’ x 4’ wide, 6‘ x 8‘ long and finally 10 to 11 inches high planter. These dimensions are perfect for raised garden beds. This will allow you to plant, sow, and remove the weeds without walking through the garden. The soil in the case of such beds also remains friable and loose instead of becoming hard-packed.
How much soil will be needed?
Filling a raised garden bed will require more soil than you think. Please go for bulk buy in case of soil. The best raised bed soil is when the soil has 30% organic compost and 70% topsoil. If not available, you can go for a triple mix which is generally peat moss, compost and Topsoil. If you are opting to order soil online, make sure that you know where the soil is coming from. Topsoil usually gets taken up from the land and is developed into new subdivisions. If the soil had been sitting for a while, it might have lost some essential nutrients.
Whichever type of soil you land up using, make sure that you enhance it by adding compost. The availability of rich organic matter is a very important component. It will hold in the moisture and provide a lot of nutrition to your growing plants.
Additional tips for maintenance of good soil
· If you have small containers, start composting.
· It is a very good idea to conduct a soil pH test during the different times of the year to know what necessary amendments you need to make to help your crops flourish.
· You can also start to grow cover crops to add the nutrients back into the soil.
· In case you are growing berries, purchase oil that is specifically formulated for strawberries and blueberries. Alternatively, you can also adjust the levels of aluminium sulphate and elemental sulphur in the soil.
In case compost piling is not an option, you can keep some compost on reserve during the gardening season. When you top up the garden beds with compost, it will add the nutrients back into the soil to prepare for whatever you plan next after a harvesting session.
These tips mentioned above will come in very handy when you prepare your raised planter bed for growing crops.