Healthy Plants: How to Enrich the Soil in Your Raised Garden Beds
Whether you are new to raised bed gardening or already a pro, you can always use a few tips on soil conditioning and maintenance. Like any garden soil, you need to restore the depleted nutrients in the soil of your raised garden beds. Although you can always add organic fertilisers, they’re not an end-all-be-all answer to your soil quality. Soil in raised garden beds typically needs to be replaced after a few years, but by following the tips below, you won’t have to replace your soil at all.
Topdress once a year with compost.
With raised beds, as with any container garden, soil will settle and lose its key minerals over time. You can prevent this by adding an inch or two of compost layers or composted manure once a year. Do this each spring before you start planting to ensure a nutritious growing ground for your plants.
Use soil amendments.
Soil amendments are typically mixed with soil to enhance soil quality in raised garden beds. The soil amendment you can use will depend on the current condition of your soil. For instance, if the soil is retaining too much water, mix some sand with the soil to help water drain more efficiently. On the other hand, add compost if it dries up too fast. Other different soil amendments you can use include grass clippings, coir, worm castings, cornmeal, and kelp meal. Each one has a different effect on soil, so it pays to do some research.
Plan your irrigation system.
There are two popular ways to irrigate a raised bed: drip irrigation and soaker hose. If you plan ahead of time and decide which system is suitable for your needs, you can save yourself a lot of work later on. No need to stand around with a hose for hours every time your garden needs watering.
Fluff your soil.
Roots need soil that is easy to penetrate so they can access nutrients essential for plant growth. If soil is too dense and compact, the roots will struggle to spread and take hold. Fluff the soil with a garden fork to facilitate root growth, and consequently, plant growth.
Of course, you’re going to need durable and reliable garden beds that can hold your improved soil and precious plants. In Perth, you can purchase such products from trusted manufacturers like Rainfill Tanks and Curved Roofing Supplies.
Ten Tips for Successful Raised Bed Gardening, About.com
6 Tips for Building Soil for Your Raised Garden Beds and Planters, Eartheasy Blog