newbie with raised beds! help!
The only method of gardening I've done is container gardening; I use lg. plastic storage containers with holes drilled in the bottom.
I have some 4' x 4' and 4' x 8' raised beds.
The first question I have is how many gallons (I am assuming this would be by volume) would I need per 4' x 4' and 4' x 8' raised bed to fill them?
My 2nd question is what type of soil to use in the raised beds. For container gardening I use a soilless mix that drains well, which is what is recommended for container gardening.
I was told my 'soil' mix I used for container gardening (which uses coarse vermiculite, spaghnum peat moss, pine bark mulch, lime, and some pelleted fertilizer) would drain too fast for raised beds.
Can anybody recommend a good soil mix for raised beds?
I've done searches on threads, but haven't really found anything specific.
Please don't say 'just use a decent soil mix and it's up to you what you want to use'. I know nothing about gardening in raised beds, so I don't know which type of soil mix to use. As such, I'd prefer to use a mix that people have used in raised beds before, that they've had success with.
THis is a guideline I've found for what to use with a soil mix, an outline rather.
Al Tapla (who posts frequently on soil mixes to use for container gardening on this site apparently) recommended it.
THis is a condensed version of what he posted
he recommends 70%-80% mineral components as the structural base - topsoil, sand, fine Turface ... and 20-30% other organic ingredients to make up the rest
I would need the percentages converted to gallons based on how many gallons I would need to fill per 4' x 4' and 4' x 8' raised bed.
Can somebody give examples as to what 'mineral components' and examples of what 'organic ingredients' are.
I always use Osmocote (a pelleted fertilizer) for my container mix. Could I include that in the 20%-30% organic ingredients, as it seems that is mostly for providing the plants nutritional needs? For a 4' x 4' and 4'x 8' bed, if I can add osmocote, how much (in cups gallons etc.) could I add for a 4' x 4' bed and how much for a 4' x 8' bed?
I am leary to add compost when I tried using compost to my soilless mix unfortunately the mix absorbed too much moisture. I don't mind adding compost to a raised bed mix, but I don't want to have the same problem.