The Q&A Archives: Building Raised Beds in Hard Pan

Question: I have hard pan about 8" below my top soil. How deep should I make my raised beds? I understand that tomatoes have very deep roots. I am trying to decide where I would locate my beds. On the east side of my two-story house, I have a lot that is about 40 ft wide. I can put the beds several feet away from a 6 ft high fence so that they would not get morning sun or against the house so they would not get as much afternoon sun any suggestions? Thanks. Tav Commins Antelope (just North of Sacramento), CA

Answer: I would situate your garden so it gets morning sun in your area. The afternoon sun in CA. can be quite brutal. Creating raised beds is a good idea in clay soil. I'd try to dig down at least 1 foot, but even deeper if possible. You can dig a bed one foot deep, then loosen the subsoil with a pickax to promote drainage of air and water..

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