planting a raised bed vegetable garden on a slope
We would like to build a raised bed garden in a sloping back yard in Baltimore City which has heavy clay soils mixed with rocks. The slope is about 15 degrees, facing WSW. Should we attempt to level the beds completely or, if we plant at a right angle to the slope will we be ok? Will we need to fill our beds completely with outside soil or can we amend the soil we have by adding compost and other materials? (We plan to have the soil tested.)
We recommend that you try to level the raised bed garden as much as possible. Even with a slope of about 5 degrees, you can lose soil, seeds, etc. You can work with your existing soil and mix in a lot of organic matter (compost) this fall. You may need to put down as much as 6-8 inches of compost and mix it in. Also, if you can cover the soil with fallen leaves, that will help to protect the soil/prevent weed germination over the winter.