The Ultimate Guide to Raised Bed Garden Soil

The Ultimate Guide to Raised Bed Garden Soil

The Ultimate Guide to Raised Bed Garden Soil 824 824 Eco Garden Systems

What’s the Difference Between Soil Types and Which Raised Garden Bed Soil Should I Use?

If you’re wondering which raised bed garden soil your should buy from a garden center, you came to the right place! We are asked this question often, so let’s clear up any confusion. Here we break down the differences between soil types and tell you what works best for a raised garden bed.

Garden Soil is a dense soil that consists of topsoil mixed with other materials for specific planting purposes, like vegetable gardening or growing trees and shrubs. Because it is a heavy soil, it may not be the best option for raised garden beds—it can lead to compaction. If you do use it as your raised bed garden soil, regularly amend the soil with compost to limit compaction. Garden soil works in an elevated garden like the Eco Garden System as long as you layer peat moss or coconut coir first and amend the soil with compost.

Potting Mix is a lightweight soil that contains a mixture of ingredients like sphagnum moss, coconut husks, bark, compost, and vermiculite. In fact, it may not contain any soil at all; it’s sterilized to ensure that no fungus or other organisms are introduced to your raised garden bed. Potting mix is specially formulated for different growing purposes, like vegetable gardening or growing specialty flowers like orchids. Potting mix works well as a raised bed garden soil or soil for container gardens because it is lightweight and allows for good drainage and aeration. It’s perfect for an Eco Garden System but because it is so lightweight, be sure to start with a layer of peat moss or coconut coir, then mix with compost. Here’s more information on choosing the right soil for your garden type.

Raised Garden Bed Mix is similar to potting mix. If you were to make your own raised garden bed soil mix, you could use 50% garden soil and 50% potting mix for a good drainage and aeration. Garden centers also make bagged soils specific to raised beds, making this the ideal choice.

Topsoil is not meant to be used for planting in your raised garden bed—it’s considered more of a soil conditioner and used to fill in gaps in in-ground gardens. Top soil is pulled from the top foot or so of the earth and can be made of just about anything depending on where it was pulled from. It is very dense and usually lacks proper nutrients.

Now you can head to the garden center with a better idea of which soil to buy for your raised garden bed. You will find that each year you need to refresh, or amend, your raised bed garden soil (especially if your vegetable garden isn’t performing its best)—here is a great video from The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener describing how to do that. If you have more questions on the type of soil we recommend for an Eco Garden, check out our FAQs for more tips.

Tell us: What do you do to your soil to ensure healthy crops each year?

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