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Best Growing Medium for Raised Beds

I am building 12 inch high raised beds this year on top of really lousy clay soil. I have heard/read so many different opinions on what to fill the bed with. One recommendation was to not remove the sod, lay landscape fabric, and fill with some rocks for drainage and use NO soil, just compost (2/3) and peat (1/3). Anybody have input on this?

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Hardiness Zone: 4b

By Julie from Green Bay, WI

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March 20, 20110 found this helpful

I used compost and cow manure. Make sure the manure is old so it will not burn the plants or seeds. Mix it well . Maryan

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

When I moved to arizona (a small town close to flagstaff), we had red cinders/rock instead of soil.

I too used a 12 inch raised bed. I filled the bed with a mixture of "jerry baker's barnyard tea." 1 Bag top soil, 1 bag peat, 1 bag sand, 1 bag garden gypsum and 1 bag garden fertilizer. Mix it all up and start filling the bed. You can increase the amount of the mixture by how large a raised bed you are making.

My oh my I am in love with Jerry Baker. My garden was wonderful. Bulbs for spring, other flowers for summer. It was all wonderful. Until one morning I looked out and saw the cattle eating over the fencing i had put around it. In arizona you can fence them out but the ranchers do not have to fence them in. So they range.

But it was wonderful while it lasted. Good luck and google jerry baker, master gardener for any other questions. Worked for me and still does.

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

Ps: this works for all states and all gardens. We must replace what plants use up each year.

Mix it up and chop it in. You will be a happy gardener.

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