Raised Bed Soil Mix
We have one raised bed with soil in it! Granted, it is one of the small, square beds, but it’s a start! We’ll be filling the rest of the raised beds throughout the week.
This particular raised bed we got a donation from Gard’n’Wise to try one of their specially packaged raised bed soil mixes. We certainly don’t recommend that you HAVE to use a mix like this (we aren’t for the rest of them!). It will be fun to try it and see how it works though.
We put about 5 inches of woodchips in the bottom of the raised bed, because we didn’t have quite enough of the bagged soil mix to fill it completely full. They will break down over time and we can add more compost to the top to make up the difference.
Here you can see the list of ingredients in the mix. I don’t know how it holds water, so I’m not sure I agree with the bag’s recommendation as ideal for container gardening. Maybe it would work well for some of those big, Smart Pots that we tried a couple years ago. It is a mixture of topsoil, cotton burr compost, coconut coir, expanded shale (kind of like gravel, but popped like popcorn), humate, and several different types of ground rock/sand. I’ll be curious to see how it tests when we run the soil tests on it.
It actually looks kind of disgusting, if you think about it too much. The long fibers are most likely the coconut coir. You can also see a couple of the expanded shale rocks on the left side. Otherwise, just a nice, light (relatively) mix of soil. Definitely not as light as a normal soilless potting mix, but lighter than your average, mineral garden soil. I wonder if we will have trouble keeping it moist in a hot year?