The Q&A Archives: Soil Depth for Raised Bed

Question: The soil in my yard is hard and has a heavy clay content. I'm interested in making a raised bed for annuals, shrubs, and perennials. How deep does it need to be. I would also like to know what kind of soil should I put in the bed - all compost, top soil or a mixture of both?

Answer: I suggest a bed height of 6 to 12 inches. The higher end of the range is better, especially for shrubs. Make the bed out of a mix of composted bark and either topsoil or sand (the mix should be predominently compost).

Lay some out on your site where you want the beds to go. Mix it in with your native soil to blend the interface between soil types. Then lay more out on top to reach the desired height.

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