Ask a Question forum: Raised beds

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Roxobro NC. zone 7b
dirtdigger1
Apr 5, 2018 11:02 AM CST
I have a couple of raised beds , got good looking soil in them but i can't seem to get them to stay moist. it just like pouring water on them and it just runs through and out the bottom and bone dry in no time. any suggestions would be very helpful. thanks in advance I am located in.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 5, 2018 11:10 AM CST
Welcome!

Add compost - the more the better. Mix it into your soil already in the planters. The compost is moisture retentive and, as it breaks down, will add nutrients to your soil.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 5, 2018 12:00 PM CST
When you say 'good soil' what is that exactly? Like the regular soil from the yard or bagged soil? I agree that adding compost, a ton of compost would be very helpful, plus manure. You can use rabbit manure if you have access to that, or bagged composted cow manure. Mix it in really well.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
West Hills, California
lsjanes
Apr 8, 2018 5:41 PM CST
Had a sweet raised bed garden last year with two beds of vegetables. I have decided not to plant this Spring because we will be out of state for three months during the summer. Should I do anything to the soil, plant some kind coverage or should I fill the beds with anything? Will probably plant some herbs and dark greens in late August when we return to SoCal. Thanks!
Roxobro NC. zone 7b
dirtdigger1
Apr 8, 2018 5:53 PM CST
greene said:When you say 'good soil' what is that exactly? Like the regular soil from the yard or bagged soil? I agree that adding compost, a ton of compost would be very helpful, plus manure. You can use rabbit manure if you have access to that, or bagged composted cow manure. Mix it in really well.


Mostly bag top soil from Lowes, found a source for composted horse manure about 3 years old i can get free and he will load it. think i will try that,
Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Apr 9, 2018 3:36 AM CST
Dirtdigger: When I used that bagged top soil it did the same thing to the raised beds I used it in. I was trying to add to the height of the bed quickly and resorted to it. Compost is the way to go. All other beds where I didn't use it are beautiful and loamy. I use horse manure in my compost pile from the County Fair grounds dumpster (they want the public to take it and it is left open).
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 9, 2018 3:14 PM CST
dirtdigger1 said:I have a couple of raised beds , got good looking soil in them but i can't seem to get them to stay moist. it just like pouring water on them and it just runs through and out the bottom and bone dry in no time. any suggestions would be very helpful. thanks in advance I am located in.


Most people in our area try to use raised beds as a way to avoid digging in the existing soil that came with the house.

I even see them showing how to build a raised bed without digging on the television...

Unfortunately...
In my experience... it works best to dig down into the native soil a couple feet below the bottom level of the raised bed... mix the compost into that soil below the raised bed... just like the articles on double digging describe.

you shouldn't have to do that again...
and... you should stop seeing the water draining out the sides of the raised bed... add plenty of mulch to the surface of the bed and watering should be cut way down.

Edit;
Unless....
if you are in the sandhills... forget what I just said.

My suggestion was for the clay....

I haven't found a way to garden with raised beds in the bottomless sand.

[Last edited by stone - Apr 9, 2018 3:16 PM (+)]
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