Sourcing Vermiculite and Cedar Boards

Asked March 12, 2018, 1:08 PM EDT

I’d like to start several raised beds and have calculated that I need around 4 cubic yards of substrate. I researched the “soilless” approach using Mel’s mix for square foot gardening. My first question is: are there good places to find vermiculite and cedar boards I around Howard County? If I can’t find those at a reasonably cost, what is the next best thing in terms of soil or soilless approach for high yields in smaller spaces?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

It is correct that you can add a purchased soilless growing media to build your raised bed and provide good rooting area for your plants. The soilless growing media typically contain ingredients such as peat moss, composted bark, perlite, vermiculite, compost, coconut coir. They improve drainage and water holding capacity, but they are costly and not generally recommended unless the raised bed is set on an impervious surface. In that case, a 50:50 mixture of a good soilless growing medium and compost is recommended. Another option would be to use a compost/topsoil mixture (often 70% topsoil; 30% compost). For cedar boards and vermiculite, you will have to call or visit a local home improvement store to see what they have available.