We all know that a great garden starts with great soil. This soil recipe provides the perfect soil combination for filling raised garden boxes and planting lots of healthy veggies this year!
Building a raised-bed garden box is different from gardening in containers. As the bottom of the boxes are open to the soil, they are in constant contact with soil microbes, worms, and other components of living soil, and they should be treated as such.
There are a number of common mistakes that are made when filling your garden boxes, and you can check out this article at WeedEmAndReap.com to learn more about the mistakes you should avoid.
Your goal in building your raised bed garden should be to create a symbiotic ecosystem for your plants which provides them with the proper levels of moisture and nutrients, encourages worms and microbial activity, and thrives as a living, breathing soil.
The article below shares some great tips for creating a perfect soil mixture to fill your raised garden boxes, and grow an amazing, healthy, and productive organic garden in them.
The best soil combination for raised garden boxes should have two parts:
- A good base or growing medium.
- High quality amendments to feed your plants.
Part ONE | The growing medium
Your raised garden box soil should contain the following:
50% of your growing medium should be COMPOST
Compost is created when somebody takes raw organic material and adds water and air. Over time the microbes break it down into an organic matter that looks nothing like the original materials that were put in. The purpose of compost is to provide the perfect situation for microbial growth.
- You can get animal-based compost, which is chicken, goat, sheep, horse, or cow manure that has broken down to the point where you can’t tell it’s poop any longer….
- You can get plant-based compost, which is wood chips, grass clippings, straw, leaves, kitchen scraps (and sometimes egg shells)….Both work BEAUTIFULLY as a growing medium. You should never plant in compost alone, but it should be at least 30-50% of your garden soil, whether you are creating your own soil in raised garden boxes or you’re adding it to your existing soil for in-ground planting.
50% of your growing medium should be COCONUT COIR
Coconut coir is the natural fiber obtained from the husk of coconuts. It’s completely sustainable as opposed to the commonly used peat moss or sphagnum moss, which takes thousands of years to redevelop. The purpose of coconut coir is to keep the soil aerated while retaining moisture and nutrients. Coconut coir also has a neutral pH, unlike peat or sphagnum, which is more acidic.…
Part TWO | The plant food
Adding these amendments will ensure your plants have plenty of food to grow into nutrient-rich plants.
- Worm Castings (1 bag per 3×8 raised garden box) – Worm castings are essentially worm poop. Oh boy though, does that worm poop carry with it gold for your garden! This is such a great soil enricher and food for your plants because it not only provides a good source of nitrogen, it also attracts more worms into your garden. Worms = healthy garden.
- Azomite (2 lb. for every 3×8 raised garden box) – Azomite is essentially rock dust. It’s got lots of minerals and trace elements that you want back in your garden…. Add it to your soil and your garden will thank you with high-yield produce!
- Mycorrhizal Fungi (1/2 cup for every 3×8 raised garden box) – Mycorrhizal Fungi is a fungus that already exists in the soil, but it’s vital to add because it plays a very important part in creating a web of fungus that feeds the roots of your plants.
- Fish Emulsion Water (1/2 cup + 5 gallon bucket of water for the first watering) – …Fish emulsion is an overall nutrient booster and provides nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium along with trace elements.
Get the full “recipe,” including pictures and video instructions for filling your garden boxes at WeedEmAndReap.com…