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Raised beds, soil and watering.

Posted by tamsea z-5 Ohio (My Page) on
Sat, May 4, 13 at 9:05

I'm putting in my first raised bed. 4x8 to start with. Do I use Mel's Mix or use a soil mixture? What I'm concerned about is having to water too often with Mel's Mix. We have full sun pretty much and clay soil and normally everything dries out so quickly.


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

That is your choice. There is no law that raised beds must be filled with Mel's Mix. That is strictly a Sq. Foot Gardening method. So if you plan to use the Sq. Foot Gardening methods for growing use Mel's Mix. If not, don't.

Millions of folks have highly successful raised beds with no Mel's Mix in them and never use any of the Sq Foot gardening ideas.

Personally I find a soil mix of good dirt and lots of quality compost in approx. a 50:50 mix works very well. And since you have clay soil already and since clay is well known for retaining water and NOT drying out quickly, I'd incorporate some it too.

Dave


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

Thanks. Don't you think that Mel's Mix would dry out pretty quickly? more so than just using soil and compost? I don't necessarily feel like I have to use that idea (sq ft gardening). Someone just lent me that book so that's all I know. Is there anything you don't agree with about that method? other than soil?


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

Thanks. Don't you think that Mel's Mix would dry out pretty quickly? more so than just using soil and compost? I don't necessarily feel like I have to use that idea (sq ft gardening). Someone just lent me that book so that's all I know. Is there anything you don't agree with about that method? other than soil?


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

our preferred medium was mushroom compost from the farm, now we have heaps of good top soil mostly brown clayey loam and red clayey loam, always have used heaps of gypsum. but use wahtever you can get cheaply and easily.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens bale garden


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

Sq. Foot Gardening has its own forum here since it is a totally different method of gardening. So that would be your best source of info on it.

Personally, no, I have tried it and don't care for many of the things it advocates. In some parts of the country the weather makes it work better than in other parts - some folks such as in the Pacific northwest need quick draining soil mix, I don't. It is so hot and dry here I need water retention.

I also don't care for the over-crowded (IMO) planting it advocates but again that works better in some places than others.

But that is just my personal opinion. There are many different methods of gardening and no one way works well for all. Some folks swear by Sq. Foot and report good results, others don't.

Rather than going for a method from a book why not talk to local gardeners and see what works in your locale. Contact you local county ag extension office - Ohio has a great extension service and I linked their website for you below. It is full of good info. See if they have a local Master Gardener program and ask for a consult. It's free.

Dave

PS: there is also a Ohio Gardening forum here but I don't know how active it may be, Folks there may have some input for you.


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

Thanks, Dave and Len. That info helped me a lot. I'm not going to do the Sq. Foot Gardening. I appreciate that you took the time to answer. I'm going to check out that link.


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RE: Raised beds, soil and watering.

It gets so hot where I'm at that I make my raised beds with a heavier soil. Do what's good for you. You'll see with the sq foot method that mostly it's just a guideline. You will change all types of things based on what and where you're growing.


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