Irises forum: Raised bed "soil"

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Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
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djinnevada
Jul 5, 2017 10:20 AM CST
So, since my iris are still in their temporary raised beds, I am wondering if part of my losses were due to filling the beds with the wrong mix. Since we have mostly rocks (boulders) here, I had to buy some bagged stuff at Home Depot. I used a mix of bags, but mostly ones that were labeled as "raised bed" mix. For those of you who have raised beds, what do you use?
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 5, 2017 10:24 AM CST
I can't be of much help. I have a "garden mix" soil brought to me from a local company. I am going to renew a couple of gardens this year though, so will remove the iris, and mix aged manure and compost into the soil. I will then lay a new layer of garden mix over that. The roots will get all the nutrients from the manure and compost without the rhizomes getting rot. Or at least that is my hope!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
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grannysgarden
Jul 5, 2017 11:45 AM CST
If you have access to compost mix it in with your bought soil. Every place has their own idea of what soil should be and not a lot of it is the best thing for a garden. Mixing compost with whatever soil you buy will feed the organisms in it that will help keep the soil from packing and also help feed the plants naturally. I recommend every one make some compost. You may not think you have enough fruit rinds and egg shells to make compost but once you start adding everything from coffee grounds to grass clippings you will be surprised how quickly you have some super soil to add to your garden. Thumbs up
Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits for growth believes in God. ~~Unknown
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Jul 5, 2017 11:56 AM CST
Or, you can buy one of my automatic compost makers, They eat grass and oats and covert it into pre-mature compost, then you just stack it up and let it rot for a few years and you're on your way. Rolling on the floor laughing
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 5, 2017 12:05 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! That works too. No place for the "aging" pile though!
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 5, 2017 1:05 PM CST
Darcy, i use the bagged soil and have not had much problems with it.
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 5, 2017 1:22 PM CST
I buy compost by the yard from the local city dump (I get it delivered) and mix it with my natural soil. The city dump does all the compost soil testing before they will sell it.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jul 5, 2017 1:41 PM CST
That is one enlightened city dump.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 5, 2017 5:12 PM CST
We need a landfill like that here.
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jul 5, 2017 5:52 PM CST
Hi Darcy,
I have a spot in my garden where I excavated to plant a mature tree. I discovered that I only have a thin layer of soil on top of nature rock in that part of my yard. The drainage there is very poor because the surface of the rock below is irregular and water collects in cavities and fails to drain. Is it possible that your boulders or underlying rock are affecting your drainage?

In my retained garden beds I have weeping holes at the base of the retaining walls or a drainage pipe under the soil to allow water to drain. The drainage pipe has very small holes to allow water to enter but not the soil.
I think it's like the French Drain at this website:
https://www.familyhandyman.com...
Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
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djinnevada
Jul 5, 2017 6:42 PM CST
@creativeclover -
Did you use "garden soil", "potting soil", or "raised bed mix"?
Name: Bea Kimball
Little Rock, Arkansas; (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Butterflies Irises Echinacea Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Buzzbea424
Jul 5, 2017 7:15 PM CST
I bought some of the raised bed soil from Home Depot as well. It seemed to be a good mix of soil and compost. I used it to fill some low spots in my garden caused by heavy spring rains. Some of the material in it was larger than I would have liked, but it should not have affected the irises.
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 5, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Darcy,

I just used regular potting soil. It was the miricle grow brand.
Name: Darcy
Reno, NV (Zone 6b)
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djinnevada
Jul 5, 2017 10:01 PM CST
Thanks everyone! When I get the new "garden" fenced in, I will be bringing in loads of dirt and compost, but for now, the poor little darlings will just have to do with Home Depot bagged stuff. Keep your fingers crossed!

Robin - Oh for sure! Our drainage is just wonky unless we help it!

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