View Full Version : Garden Box Q's

03-16-2009, 12:14 PM
I am planning on building a garden box--I don't want the roots going down into the ground in the yard for particular reasons. Any suggestions from experienced gardeners on how to layer it? I figured newspaper at the bottom, some rocks? for drainage and then a mix of potting soil and vermiculite?
ALSO, Where is the best place to buy ALOT of dirt? Thanks! I've never built a raised bed or gardened before! :o

03-16-2009, 04:58 PM
For me the best mixture was not potting soil but compost and vermiculite. Does your city or township have a place where they compost and give it away? If not, how about a landscaper or horse/cow/chicken farm that may want to get rid of some? I used a part topsoil mix in one of my beds (which is similar to potting mix) and found it would dry out to concrete like consistency. It was either very wet and soggy or as hard as a rock. I dug out most of the mix and ammended the bed heavily with compost which made it MUCH better. The remainder of the topsoil was mixed into the bottoms of a new bed along with compost and vermiculite.

I found the vermiculite at a greenhouse that sold me 4 cu ft bags for $20 ($25 this year). It was the best price anywhere in my area. I didn't have much money and only purchased 2 bags for a 4'x24' raised bed and the 30"x16' bed mentioned above...the concrete one :( It did a good job along with the compost to ammend it into a workable bed. Kim

03-17-2009, 01:44 PM
I agree with Kim, I am finding just compost and some carbon material (anything really that is dry and orginally organic, like newspaper) seems to work just fine.

I think the real issue for any soil environment is good compost and good drainage. Nothing likes to be wet all the time. Cardboard on the bottom for weed prevention should be fine as well.