Lightening up the soil?
I think I know the answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway......What's the best way to lighten up garden soil?
I have a raised bed that I put in years ago. It's made up of 4"x4s" so it's not too high, but over the years it has seemed to sink a little bit. I made the bed by laying newspaper over the ground/grass and filling it with pine bark mulch and composted manure. It's in a low part of the yard where water often pools during heavy rains and seems to take forever to dry out. For instance, most of my yard is rock hard and dry right now, but the raised bed is still "wet" (not really wet, but moist and very thick - not crumbly at all). I just added another 4x4 to raise the soil level and get the plant zone out of the muck/water zone.
I'd like to make the soil lighter, "thinner" and with more drainage. I know the best thing is to add compost which I have and will add, but I'm wondering if I should add anything else like pearlite, vermiculate, or sand? Or should I just stick to compost and shreaded leaves?