raised flower bed same as a container? - Knowledgebase Question

Livingston, Ne
Question by gladysromual
October 14, 2009
We built a raised (large) flower bed, that seems to be working out fine for now, but the two 2x2 ft built for two small Burning Bushes we have seem to need water every other day like a plant container instead of treating it the same as a shrub planted at ground level? We planned to treat these shrubs the same as other shrubs around our yard. Did we make a mistake?

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009


I don't think you made a mistake but I do wonder what type of soil you used to fill the raised beds. Usually raised beds are used for annuals or perennials or vegetables and filling the raised bed with potting soil is just fine for these types of plants because the soil drains well and keeps the roots happy. Shrubs such as your burning bushes will need some garden soil mixed in with the potting soil to provide enough substance so the roots can anchor, and so the soil doesn't drain too quickly. If you used a garden soil/potting soil mix for your raised beds, everything will eventually even out and you won't need to water daily. If you used straight potting soil, you may want to dig your shrubs up this coming spring, mix in some garden soil, and then replant. The garden soil will hold more moisture than the potting soil and you won't need to water so frequently. In any event, continue to water regularly this fall and plan on making improvements to the soil next spring.

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