Raised Vegetable Beds and Filling Them?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAApril 14, 2014

I have not considered my raised vegetable beds containers and never have an issue with drainage. If anything, they probably drain and dry out pretty quickly. But I do have larger new beds we are building this spring and I won't have enough of my own native soil to fill them and trying to decide what to fill them with. I do have a lot of unfinished compost that I can sheet compost in a few beds. Or I could put a layer of unfinished compost ingredients in the bottom and use all my good native soil as the top layer and I might have enough to do that and be able to plant my beds this spring. Then I thought about the bark fines that Al suggests for containers and didn't know if that would be a reasonable addition on the bottom? Or just half rotted shredded bark mulch mixed into the unfinished compost.

I have grass we removed, kitchen scraps, a little bit of leaves, cardboard and old compost that is past it's prime, meaning it's sat uncovered almost 2 years and probably has leached most of the nutrients back into the ground. That's all I have and probably won't be enough.

I don't want to buy topsoil but thought maybe some organic bagged compost Coast of Maine, which is really expensive, or Bark Fines. I have a large bag of Mini Pine Nuggets too. Didn't want to add peat moss or perlite. So being in a state of indecision thought I could use some input.

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calistoga_al

I know you said you don't want to buy topsoil, but I think it is the most appropriate. In raised beds I don't like a mixture of what ever you have left over. Plants do better in a consistent texture, not layers of varying structure. Al

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ok, thanks, I'll give that some thought.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:50PM
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steve104c(9a)

Best raised bed soil is (by volume)1/3 peat moss,1/3 vermiculite,1/3 compost. My plants are growing like "weeds". No, don't have any weeds................steve

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:38PM
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