Last year was my first attempt at a vegetable garden and the place they had set up turned out to not have all day sun. This year I've built two 4'x4'x15" raised garden beds and need to fill them with the least amount of money out of pocket. I have one area on our lot I can harvest soil from it is a pretty boggy area that the former owners had a pig pen on.
I was planning on putting a layer of this stuff on top of the 3" layer of partially decayed leaves and grass I got from a 2 year old pile I had. I've included a picture of the pig pen area, and one of a 5-gallon bucket's worth of the muck I dug out of there. As you can see there is quite a few twigs mixed in. I'm wondering whether this is okay to use as is, or if it will be too dense and needs to be mixed with peat moss?
I'm guessing that the 8 buckets of this stuff I have so far will only bring the level up another few inches so I may add more of it so that I can minimize the amount of soil and peat moss I need to buy. From what I've read tomatoes, the primary plan for these beds, need 8-12" of available rooting depth.
Any suggestions on how to bring the depth up from there as economically as possible?
Another question I have is I've heard tomato plants need to be at least anywhere from 8" to 16" apart, is there any actual consensus on this?
Thanks very much for any advice you can offer. Oh the only other thing that may go in these beds are peppers depending on how many tomato plants I can get in.