Garden soil.

Asked April 21, 2016, 11:44 AM EDT

Do you have a good garden mixture for a raised garden.

Todd County Minnesota

1 Response

Reliable sources recommend a number of "recipes" that can be used to create good garden soil for raised beds. Here are two for your consideration:

Cornell University

Mix 1 part organic matter (peat moss, compost, etc.) to 1 part sand or perlite to 2 parts soil. Perlite and sand facilitate excess water drainage while organic matter helps keep an even moisture level. Maintaining high levels of organic matter is particularly important in raised beds because they tend to dry out quickly.

Utah State University:

If using existing soil, amend the native topsoil with 30-50% (by volume) well composted organic matter.

Soilless garden mixes are another alternative. These are typically expensive and may become nutrient deficient over time. The benefit of these products is that they are loose, friable in texture, provide good drainage, and retain soil moisture.

Another option is to create your own garden soil mix. A garden soil blend could consists of equal parts (1:1:1 by volume), of the following ingredients:

‐ Composted Organic Matter: animal manures, composted kitchen scraps, finely ground wood shavings, leaves, grass clippings, and/or peat moss

‐ Drainage Increasing Materials: coarse-grained sand (no finer than builder’s sand), vermiculite, pumice, or perlite

‐ Native soil or topsoil

Some landscape supply companies and garden centers create and sell soil mixes

suitable for use in raised beds.