soil for raised bed vegetable garden

Asked September 9, 2019, 10:25 AM EDT

I have just finished building four 8"x4' raised beds (10" high) for my vegetable garden. I have a small amount of compost in my bin but will need to buy soil/compost to fill these. I estimate that I will need about one cubic yard for each of the four beds. I was thinking that I would buy Leafgro topsoil mix for the beds in bulk. Would this be a good choice? Are there other ingredients I would want to add (sand, coconut fiber, peat moss)? In the spring should I have the soil tested to see if fertilizer needs to be added or can I do this this fall?

Baltimore County Maryland soil soil testing raised beds

1 Response

Hi- we assume you meant 4 ' X 8 ' beds. Yes, a Leafgro/topsoil mix could be an excellent growing medium for your beds. We suggest you find out as much information as possible from the supplier prior to purchase and delivery:
Where did the topsoil come from? Has it been tested? Can you see the soil test results? What is the topsoil percentage in the mix?

If you are satisfied the the topsoil is high quality (smells earthy, free of sticks, rocks, and debris, brown color (not white, gray, and black), soil pH of 6.0-7.0, then have it tested this fall and follow lab recommendations. U of DEL includes lead in their basil soil test. No other additions will be necessary when using a top quality soil/compost mix.
More web content on the subject: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-fill-raised-beds
Jon