Ask a Question forum: Soil ratio for a raised bed

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Valley City, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Jan 14, 2017 9:37 AM CST
I am creating a 8' long x 4' wide by 10" high raised bed. What ratio of garden soil, compost and peat moss do I need to start the bed? I debating on what bagged products I should get. It will need 27 cubic feet of soil. I will have 3 beds of this size.

I can get compost delivered but the others I will need to pick up myself. The local nursery has very good bagged garden soil that I bought before when the garden was direct in the ground. I had major problem that developed with Bermuda grass and other weeds that just took over the beds that I stopped gardening for 3 years.. I do not want to use the existing soil? There is not that much clay in the soil.

If I should replace one or more of the soil components or have any other recommendations you have are welcome.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jan 14, 2017 9:50 AM CST
No experience but I've heard that a good ratio is 50% soil with 50% compost with lots of perlite mixed in. No peat moss - it's hard to rewet when it gets dry.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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Jan 14, 2017 11:20 AM CST
I agree. No peat moss. Expensive and once it dries out it is very difficult to re-wet.

Others on this site have taught me about using pine 'fines' which is very fine pieces of bark. I asked at my local nursery. The man knew what I wanted but it did not come in bags. He recommended the bagged top soil which is mostly fines. I mixed that with compost, aged/composted cow manure, Perlite, a bit of garden lime, and a few other things.

This article by RickCorey talks about fines. It is more about potting soil than garden bed soil but I find the information helpful.

Here is a really short article/idea by Horseshoe:
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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