Soil mix question..........

dancinglemons(7B VA)June 29, 2011

Hello all,

I know this is the container forum but hopefully someone can be of assistance. I do use mostly containers but have a few raised beds. A new bed will be filled with a mix of 30% coir, 30% spaghum peat, 30% pine bark fines and 10% bagged "mushroom compost". My plan is to add dolomite and composted chicken manure before planting corn. The bed is 6f x 4f x 12inches tall.

Will this work?? Suggestions?? All of my other raised beds have the 'used' Earthbox/tainer mix from years past. Not enough SWC's needed emptying this year to fill this new bed.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.



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Good question, and I'll be stnding with you in the peanut gallery, because I'm looking to fill some new raised beds as well, and can't seem to find a solid answer on what soil to mix/use.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 10:39PM
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i would increase the bark fines to 60% because the choir and peat will hold alot of water. every thing else sounds good. also if wanted to throw in another 10% of another kind of compost like steer.imo

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:07AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The coir will be very high in K, and may be salty, as will the shroom compost (salty). I generally suggest that people limit the organic fraction of their RB soils to less than 20%, and that they use OM that they know will break down slowly - e.g., finished compost or pine bark. Shrinkage is going to be significant as your100% organic mix gasses out. I would also expect it to be difficult to keep a grip on the N requirements because of considerable N immobilization. Soil temps (high) may even come into play because with 100% OM, you're going to have a lot of heat generated by the composting process.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:23PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

terrybull and tapla ::

Thanks to both of you! I did not know coir was high in K -- the brand I use "Botanicare Cocogrow' claims to be low sodium but I have not been able to determine what the sodium level is. I will leave out the mushroom compost at this time. I will have access to bulk pine bark fines (composted and fresh) this weekend. Which would be better? Would adding perlite to the mix be OK?? In this particular RB I am only growing corn.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 2:19AM
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composted. you can add some perlite but its not needed in your rb.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:25AM
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