The Q&A Archives: Raised Flower Beds

Question: I want to put in raised flower beds in the front of my house. I dont know what type of soil I should use and I am unable to locate any information on the subject. I am very new to gardening so please speak down to me.

Answer: Raised beds are a good way to plant into well prepared soil. First, loosen the native soil under the bed location. Then add copious amounts of organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding. Based on the results of soil tests, you may need to add additional amendments such as lime or fertilizer or a small amount or coarse builder's sand. (Your County Extension, 489-4315, should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.)

By doing the above, the soil will have become fluffed up and should be high enough to constitute a raised bed. If not, and you need to add more soil, then try to use soil that matches the original soil. Usually you can take some from elsewhere on your property. It is not usually recommended to purchase top soil because it may not match the existing soil and this can cause problems down the road.

Be sure to use several inches of organic mulch around your plantings. The mulch will continue to feed the soil as it breaks down.

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