RE: filler for raised beds
- Subject: RE: [cg] filler for raised beds
- From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
- Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 16:16:36 -0400
assume that you've soil tested to see what you have underneath. Even if you're
using raised beds, you should know what's in your dirt. Some garden sites in
impoverished areas can be rather polluted ( with heavy metals - primarily lead
or chemical leaks)and G-d knows what else.) If you haven't done soil testing,
try to keep your soil amendments in bags until you do ( if it's a dump truck,
bag the stuff up.) If all else fails, and the testing has not been done, try to
postpone your delivery until it's done.
is a great time to build the frames for, or pick up some compost bins and
instruct your gardeners in their care and feeding. Start composting even
before you start gardening, with leaves, carrot tops, supermarket veggies
waste and the oozing stuff at the bottom of everybody's veggie crispers. Get
those composting signs up and get your garden's compost heroes trained.
is a bummer, but unless you are building your beds on top of concrete or
asphalt, I'd double dig the soil underneath the area where you are going to put
the frame. Most of the folks who know me and all that read me here know that I'm
crazy, but I'd double dig down two to three feet, sifting out most of the large
stones, leaving the small stones for drainage at the bottom. This helps
you get the bullets, decomposing mammals and auto parts out of the soil. This
kind of urban archeology can be amusing, sifting out crack vials and syringes
and all, but highly necessary. All participants will truly believe that they
have earned their adult beverages and pizza afterwards, guaranteed. A great way
to build group cohesion. ( The hot showers afterwards are lovely too. It's a
matter of choice if this is going to be a group cohesion opportunity for you all
bedding frames should be of untreated wood ( treated wood has awful preservative
chemicals in it like arsenic) or a non-reactive plastic or brick. Remember,
according to Federal and local guidelines, treated wood has to be disposed of as
toxic waste. You don't wanna grow your veggies in toxic waste, do
dirt recipe that I like is 15-20% peat moss, the balance in top soil, composted
manure, and composted organic material ( pre-made compost - yes it's possible,
ask your local parks dept, botanical garden, in some cases the sanitation dept.
However, avoid sewage sludge - it's really not good for you!) If you have a
source for earthworms, throw 'em in.
feeling is that you don't want to economize on your dirt unless you absolutely
have to. If it's in your dirt, it's in your plants.
I'm sure that others on this list have different
luck, happy gardening,
Hi all! I am an AmeriCorps Volunteer helping city residents in an
impoverished neighborhood to start a raised bed community garden. We have
three 4ftx6ftx18in. beds, one 4ftx6ftx24in., and one 6ftx6ftx18in bed built.
We are getting soil delivered next week to fill the beds. My question is, do
we need to fill the bottom 6-12 inches with soil or can some other material be
used as filler. such as a lower quality dirt, stones, rocks, etc. I have been
researching raised beds on the web and have talked with several
horticulturists. One horticulturist actually told me that those
styrofoam peanuts used in packing work well?!!??!!
We plan to grow collard greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, turnips, mustard
greens, onions, and carrots.As well as some perennials, and annuals.