Ask a Question forum: Raised Bed / Compost Manure Question

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Name: Kathy
(Zone 5a)
Daylilies Seed Starter Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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TreeClimber
May 1, 2016 8:10 AM CST
I have a couple of new raised beds that are deep. I know I don't need the depth for the roots, but the point for me was to raise the height so there is less bending.

They are sturdy, but I am still questioning what to put in them (it will take a lot). I have lots of compost/manure mix, but it is heavy. Any suggestions on what I could mix it with to lighten up the weight and increase drainage? Or, do I need to?

I was thinking Peat, because it's inexpensive, quick, and easy for me to purchase.



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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 1, 2016 9:55 AM CST
I would add perlite. Peat would just to the heaviness.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 1, 2016 10:50 AM CST
I agree on the perlite. Some independent nurseries or farm stores might carry the biiig bags. I would avoid the brands that have added fertilizer to the perlite.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 1, 2016 11:08 AM CST
I certainly agree. Peat not only would add to the weight but also increase the acidity. I purchase super coarse perlite by the 4 cf. bag. That's a lot of perlite. Because perlite is so light, even a huge bag like this ships for a moderate amount. You could also add something like cypress or another hardwood mulch. This adds organic matter which will break down over 1-2 years. Until it breaks down, the mulch will open the soil.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kathy
(Zone 5a)
Daylilies Seed Starter Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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TreeClimber
May 1, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Thanks you guys, I have both of the ingredients you suggested.

How much perlite? Is there a percentage like 1 part per X part soil?

I have a big pile of hardwood mulch too ............ sounds like you have solved my dilemma. ;)
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
May 1, 2016 11:38 AM CST

Plants Admin

If you don't need the depth this site puts milk crates on the bottom covered with hardware cloth and landscaping fabric.
http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/high-mighty-raised-...
Evan
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 1, 2016 11:47 AM CST
I think you could add perlite at 1/4 to 1/3 of the total volume. Do mix it in well. The wood mulch - I would keep that towards the bottom of the bed.
Name: Kathy
(Zone 5a)
Daylilies Seed Starter Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader
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TreeClimber
May 1, 2016 11:49 AM CST
A friend suggest Milk Jugs or Styrofoam etc ... but I was concerned about the beds being top heavy.

Thanks so much for the link to the page that suggest milk crates ..... so many ideas out there that I would never have thought of myself.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 1, 2016 12:02 PM CST
In my opinion, it matters not where the hardwood mulch/bark is. I see little value if it is simply dumped into the bottom, where few if any roots will even penetrate. I use it liberally in my raised garden as well as the super-coarse perlite. My terrestrial orchid mix has cypress mulch mixed in, and those plants do well with it in the media. In my experience, cypress will outlast pine (which I never use) and regular hardwood mulch 2 to 1.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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