raised bed soil
my research recommends 1/3 vermiculite , 1/3 peet moss, and 1/3 compost. where do i get good quality compost? I heard the leaf compost at College Park or other places is OK but does not have all one needs. Can I get some of that and some horse manure? I have 4 - 4' X 4' 8" deep beds to fill.
Here are some thoughts.
Purchasing soilless mix is not recommended unless you have one or two small raised beds. In that case you can use a 50:50 mix of Pro Mix (bale) and compost or leaf gro.
Types of organic matter include composted yard waste (home-made, purchased from your landfill, Leafgro). Mushroom compost is a good garden compost. Well-rotted farm manure added and turned under in the fall is good but can introduce weed seeds. You can increase soil organic matter levels with buried kitchen scraps, cover crops, and yearly additions of compost. Here is information on beginning your own home composting.hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/HG35BackyardComposting10_2010final_000.pdf
If the soil is in good shape (not compacted, drains well) add 4 inches of compost and mix it with the top 4-inches of existing soil using a tiller, spade, or garden fork. You can also help loosen soils with high clay content by pushing in your garden fork and rocking it back and forth. Move the fork 6-8 inches and repeat across the entire bed.