Raised bed gardening has exploded in popularity. Maybe it is the clay soil so many of us have here in Kentucky! If you are looking for less weeds & pests, better soil, higher yields or simpler maintenance, raised beds are a great choice. Many of us have made the switch to raised beds over several years, but we are warning you: they are addictive! It is hard to go back to traditional tilled gardens.
How Much Soil Do I Need?
1 Cu Ft of soil = 6.5 Gallons
Use this formula to determine Cubic Feet:
L x W x H = Cubic Feet Example: an 8’ x 4’ x 6 “ (0.5’) raised bed = 16 Cu Ft
16 Cu Ft x 6.5 (gal) = 104 Gallons of Soil is needed to fill your bed
What Amendments Are Best?
We recommend a blend of 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. This is a premium mix that is tried and true by ourselves, and 1000’s of our customers over the years. We suggest using 3 to 5 varieties of compost, such as composted cow manure, mushroom compost, and worm castings.
What can I plant in a raised bed?
You can easily grow herbs, flowers, vegetables, asparagus, berries, shrubs. We grow most veggies in beds with corn and beans in a standard garden plot.
What sort of materials should I use?
Cedar wood is durable and long-lasting. Untreated wood needs more frequent replacement, but is less expensive to start with. Composite is durable and OK for certified organic gardens. Bricks, blocks and stones are great and can make attractive raised beds for landscaping (think edible landscaping.)
How high should the raised bed be?
We suggest 6” – 12” for most garden plants; larger plants often need higher beds. We also suggest biodegradable weed barrier to prevent weeds.
Most raised beds will be 3’ x 6’ or 4’ x 8′, with a wide enough path between for your wheelbarrow and garden tools.
As awesome as the below recipe is, your garden will still need additional nutrients through the season. We suggest Smart Tea, our own mix of fish emulsion, kelp, molasses; mycorrhizae for enhanced root growth; with BT for natural pest protection.
You know we do! Here you go, an optimized 4′ x 8′ plan:
1 bale organic peat; a 4 cu ft vermiculite; 2 bags of mushroom compost (13 gal each), 2 bags composted cow manure (13 gal each), and a 6.5 gal worm castings. This will come to 108.5 gallons of rich, well draining, growing medium. As always, we are here to answer your questions and cheer you on. Give us a call if you need some help as you work on your project: 502.261.0005.