Soil Formula For Raised Vegetable Beds - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Robert Gilman
Peabody, MA
Question by rdgwsg
March 24, 2001
In addition to soil/loam, what organic and/or natural amendments would you recommend for 10"/4' x 8' raised vegetable beds?

Answer from NGA
March 24, 2001


I add plenty of compost to my garden beds. It adds organic matter to the soil, improves drainage in clay soils, improves water and fertilizer retention in sandy soils, provides nutrients, increases soil microbial activity, and encourages earthworms. I like to incorporate compost into the soil before planting, but I also use it as a mulch or top dressing. It will act as a great mulch/top dressing for your existing flowers and over time break down and improve your soil. As it ages, some of the nutrients in compost will leach away, but compost is generally not extremely high in nutrients anyway. It will still provide many benefits for your soil no matter when you use it. You might also want to work in organic fertilizers.

Nitrogen: alfalfa meal, blood meal, coffee grounds, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, seabird guano.
Phosphorous: bone meal, rock phosphate
Potassium: greensand, seaweed, kelp

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