Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Filling Raised Bed

Finished Bed
In this post I will be filling you in on what I used to fill my new $20 raised bed. If you missed it, here is the post where give a crash course on building it. Here.

I did some online research, which is where most of my initial info comes from, as to what goes into filling a raised bed. Ideally, I would love to fill in the entire thing with potting mix but that would cost way too much and it would defeat the purpose of trying to keep this endeavor low cost.

I found different methods, mixes and formulas for contents. As I was trying to make sense all of it, I realized that I had a trash bin full of grass clippings and leaves. I knew I was going to use some of the compost that has been cooking for a while now. 

I decided to go with the layering method and here is what I ended up with. I am a visual person and thought it would make it much easier to just show a picture.

These layers to not have to be in the exact same order but are recommended. I added the water bottle to keep the cats from using this as a litter box. Cats and animals stay off lawns and anywhere near water bottles. I do not know why this is but I have been told it just works. 

I also just read an article that shows how to use the same water bottle to keep the plants watered. All that you need to do is check it every few days to make sure it is still full. I guess that somewhat defeats the purpose but after a while, you can keep track of how often it needs to be re-filled. It will not cut out the need to water, but it will cut the times it needs to be watered. FInd this article here: Reuse Plastic Milk Jugs to Irrigate Your Garden.

I know there are people out there that spend tons of money with different mixes and may have something to say but this turns out much cheaper. I had a full 64 quart bag of potting mix but by adding everything else, I only ended up using about half of it. All of these layers will end up mixed in in the long run and will probably need to be amended between seasons. I bought a soil testing kit and have not used it but will be using it for my next major planting in the spring. 

Well ladies and gentlemen, this post should keep you busy for now. I will continue this series with companion planting and crop rotations. 

See you soon!


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