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Soil Enrichment

By Anderwood
July 5, 2016

I like to say, "The main thing I grow in my garden is soil." Read more to see why.

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 4, 2016 8:59 PM CST
A very good article, Reid! Hurray!

I agree with everything Reid said in his article! And I love raised beds. I build the bed frame, lay down a layer of cardboard inside the bed, add my dirt, compost, and pine fines. Mix and water periodically, then let sit for a week or two before planting in it. If you have worm compost, that is the best thing to use when you add your plants. Gives the plant roots a great start!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jul 4, 2016 9:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Butterflies Vegetable Grower Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Greenhouse
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Thomas75
Jul 5, 2016 2:09 AM CST
Outstanding information and very well explained, Thank You! and I agree
Thomas75
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter
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DonShirer
Jul 5, 2016 5:40 AM CST
I too enjoyed my raised beds until a clan of chipmunks burrowed into them. No amount of closing up their entrances discourages them. I may have to remove the soil and line the bottom with hardware cloth.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 5, 2016 7:18 AM CST
Don - There have been times that I thought of lining the floor of my raised beds with hardware cloth as well. My problem is roots from nearby trees. I probably would have quickly done that if the Hardware Cloth was not so darn expensive. Glare

Good luck! I think your idea will solve the chipmunk dilemma! Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Jul 5, 2016 7:39 AM CST
No tilling here!
Just layer with organics such as leaf mold in fall.
Sometimes peat and sheep manure is added.
Your article is very good and explains why we should not till.
Thank you for writing it.
Name: Skipper
Hamilton, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Composter Region: Ohio Spiders!
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cottelpg
Jul 5, 2016 3:15 PM CST
Excellent article. Well written and informative.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Jul 5, 2016 4:33 PM CST
cottelpg said:Excellent article. Well written and informative.


I agree

No-till isn't just for raised beds... but for a new "regular" (not raised beds) garden, I think tilling is necessary for a certain amount of time, depending on what you're starting out with. Our soil was very rocky and clay-loam, and took quite a few years to get to the point where I no longer felt I needed to till, several years ago. And, while no one would describe my garden as "weed free" (someone might have let the chickweed go to seed last year *Blush* ), the soil now seems very healthy, with worms everywhere and never any standing water (which for years was a big problem for us). I use lots of grass clippings for mulch over the course of the gardening season, and add even more, plus leaves and such, in the fall (nearly all of which has decomposed and disappeared from view by the spring). And I also have a compost pile that gets added to the plantings as needed.

Thanks for the excellent article, Reid -- it really does all start with the soil! Thumbs up

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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jul 6, 2016 2:28 PM CST
Thanks for the compliments everyone! It was my pleasure.
Name: Christine
Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Zone 5a)
christine2
Jul 9, 2016 4:52 AM CST
I loved this article....I can show it to my husband because I am always having to convince him that no tilling is the way to go! Donshirer, now that my dog is getting old The chipmunks have been out in force digging holes in my raised beds and everywhere else as well. Thanks for the idea! I tip my hat to you.

josettegia
Jul 9, 2016 5:05 PM CST
I have four raised beds, using untreated 2x12x12, 3 feet wide. Composting and growing organically for 41 years. Tilled for a while, greyclay here, but have not tilled in years. At least ten. I hardly have any weeds.
Name: christine
Westland, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hummingbirder
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cward10134
Jul 14, 2016 6:54 AM CST
I too have clay, and I'm in a low lying area, so have major water in the spring. My vegetable garden is mostly in pots. Its much easier to find flowers for your conditions, so my flower beds look great. I have several compost bins (Rubbermaid w/holes drilled in them) I add table scraps and grass and leaves. I roll them around all summer as I'm adding to them and let them sit all winter. In the spring the compost is glorious! I add it to all my pots and my veggies do great!

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