Filling Raised Beds - Knowledgebase Question

Dover, NJ
Avatar for thunderen5
Question by thunderen5
March 6, 2000
I plan to build multiple raised beds in my yard, but don't know how to fill it. It will take an enormous amount of soil. Can you suggest anything besides buying bags? Can vegetables grow in pure compost?

Answer from NGA
March 6, 2000
There are several approaches to filling raised beds. First off, the soil beneath the beds should be loosened and fluffed up and this alone will raise the soil level somewhat. Next, you will need to ample quantitites of organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, and aged stable manure and bedding and mix that into the existing soil and possibly a little bit of coarse sand. If you still need additional volume, it is best to take some from elsewhere on your property so that the soil is a good match with the existing soil. For example, some gardeners will use soil from the paths between the beds. If it is still necessary to add soil and you need to purchase it, be very careful as to the quality of what you are getting. It is usually much less expensive ordered (and possibly delivered) by the cubic yard. Finally, yes, vegetables do seem to grow nicely in compost.

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