I'm brand new at gardening and looking to build planter boxes with hoop houses overin preparation for spring. I would like to plant garlic as soon as I get it set up. I had no idea that so much went into soil and things to add. What do I fill the boxes with to start? Can I use fill dirt or potting soil? Do soil amendments depend on what I'm growing? Are there certain things that cannot be planted near one another other than summer/ winter squash? Can i plant other things around the garlic in the spring?i know its a lot of questions, Thank you so much for your time
Adams County Colorado
Hello and thanks for your question!
The soil you use to fill your boxes should ideally be similar to the soil under them, and contain about 5% organic matter, (compost). So, you don't need to use a potting soild mix, fill dirt will suffice. Here is an ExtensiPlant Talk which discusses Raised Bed construction and fill. https://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/vegetables/1845-raised-bed-gardening/
Soil type and amendments don't vary by crop, but fertilizer needs do. Here is a link to a fact sheet that lists nitrogen needs for various crops.
You shouldn't have to worry about plant compatibility, I believe ideas about that are mostly ancedotal and not research based. You do need to think about which plants require full sun and may be shaded out if planted next to something tall. You can plant around the garlic come Spring. I usually allow about a 6 to 8 inch seperation between the garlic and other crops. Here is a link to a number of our vegetable growing fact sheets so you can look at more specific information for the crop you want to grow. https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/gardening-resources/online-garden-publications/vegetables-and-he...
I hope this information helps and good luck in your new endeavor! Let us knonw if you have other questions.
thank you so much!
Glad we could be of help. Let us know if you have any other questions.