Replacing a Shed with a Garden

Asked April 3, 2020, 11:16 AM EDT

I have an old, termite infested shed in my back yard that I'd like to tear down to make room for some raised beds. Will I need to make any changes to the ground underneath before building beds and planting? I'd like grass to grow between the beds and I'm concerned that the ground under the shed may be in bad shape since nothing has grown in it for a long time. I'm also worried about leftover termites from the shed eating the beds, or worse, migrating to my house or garage. Any advice?

Jefferson County Kentucky

1 Response

Test the soil for pH and nutrients in the location where the shed was located. we can have it tested for lawn growth. Take 6-8 samples where the shed was, each sample should be about 3-5" deep using a small garden trowel, mix all the subsamples together and place in a waterproof container and drop off at our office(address listed below).
If you had chemical or gas spills in the shed that leaked through the floor and into the soil, you will need to remove that portion of the soil and dispose of properly.
To minimize insect damage, use Eastern Red Cedar for the raised beds. Add landscape cloth to the bottom of the bed and fill it to the top with good clean topsoil. Maybe a good idea to test the new soil as well.
Let me know if you have further questions.


Wayne Long
Jefferson Co Extension
4200 Gardiner View Ave, Ste 101
Louisville, KY 40213
502-569-2344 office
859-317-1099 cell