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Re: raised beds on wet soil

  • Subject: Re: [cg] raised beds on wet soil
  • From: steveshome@juno.com
  • Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 13:16:48 -0800

Hi Valarie,
You may wish to consider sand in your wet soil if it has a high clay content, which is likely. The sand will allow quicker drainage.
Compost is always rightly prescribed for just about any soil problem and it will serve you well. Evergreen wood chips are super as a mulch but you may be in a location with lots of slugs or snails. These aren't the beneficial garden critters you were thinking of, I suspect. They will like that mulch to hang out in. Your young tender bean plants and such will make a tasty nightly salad for these critters.
Removing a few inches of soil from permanent garden paths and placing it on your beds may give you enough elevation to keep the plants from being submerged during a rain. Consider making wider paths and narrower beds to get the soil level where you need it. Might save some work especially if you decide to haul in some sand and compost.
I agree entirely with Don on the subject of the fabric and gravel. They are uncalled for.
Steve Smoot
Spokane Farmers' Market Association
Valarie writes:
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 18:24:05 -0800
I have started working with a teachers at a local middle school who are
laying plans for a raised bed garden.  The ground on which the beds will be
placed is typically soggy during the rainy season and there's some concern
that the soil in the beds will not drain properly.  Someone has suggested
that a layer of fabric and then a layer of gravel be placed in the bottom of
the beds before the soil. 
My concern is that roots would be too restricted in a 8 to 10 inch layer of
soil as the roots will be unable to reach threw to the ground.  Also, I
would be concerned that worms and other beneficial critters might not be
able to reach the soil in the beds with this barrier. 
Any comments or suggestions on this?
Thanks.  Valarie

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