View Full Version : Using soil from backyard for raised bed

02-26-2009, 04:53 PM
Starting a raised bed on my deck (in Los Angeles, CA) and I want to use soil from the backyard. The soil is dark, moist has little worms in it. Are there any drawbacks of using soil from the backyard? What should I consider or look out for when using the soil for my raised bed? Any ideas or feedback?

02-26-2009, 07:11 PM
The issues to think about are weeds, drainage, moisture retention and nutrition.

If you really want to use it, I would amend with copius amounts of compost at least. Then you only have to worry about the first three.

Good luck!

02-26-2009, 08:25 PM
Hey Sudion, I would at least try your existing soil . Who knows you may have some very fertile workable land underneath you. Down here in florida I never considered not using my own dirt. I have been amending what I have for years. Then I ran into Patti's site on the web and the whole amendment process went into overdrive . (raised beds , Chicken and rabbit tractors etc.). I would like to say , I am beginning to know what I'm doing . But then just last week I ran into a guy on this website (Backyard Permaculture). Who introduced me to biochar amendments. The whole amendment thing , has changed again. This is probably the best site on the web for learning about state of the art , urban organic growing. Good Luck , Kevin

03-02-2009, 12:14 PM
Thank you! I think I will try a small amount first. I know I can get into PH testing and all that, but it seems too complicated.

03-02-2009, 02:46 PM
Maybe get some large, cheap pots (the Dollar store are good for those) and use your soil in those.. That way you can grow something in it to give the soil a test, but you're not filling your bed with something you're not sure you're going to use..