Last week I share how we made Raised Vegetable Beds for under $30 a piece and this week I’d like to share how to fill them with the perfect soil mixture and vegetables for great results!
You might think it’s as easy as grabbing a bag of topsoil from your local hardware store for filling you beds, but the smart thing to do is have a plan on hand so that your plants have a chance to thrive and grow! The good thing about raised beds is that you can amend the soil and add whatever you want easily without digging deep in the ground.
Here’s a no-fail soil plan that will have your plants growing in no time!
First…remove the top layer of grass in the bottom of your beds. You could omit this step, but we wanted to make sure we didn’t have any weeds trying to grow up into our beds. Then, add a weed barrier, such as newspaper. We like newspaper because it will compost up and is a natural (and cheap) solution.
Next, add in top soil, compost and hummus. For our beds that are 4ft x 6 ft, we added 8 bags of top soil, 8 bags of organic mushroom compost and 1/2 a bag (1.5 cu. ft) of hummus …. layering one at a time. Soil, hummus, compost..repeat. There’s a great soil calculator on Gardeners.com that will help you with your specific bed size.
Then, once it’s all added and your beds are almost full – leaving a few inches of space at the top of the dirt – mix it all together.
That’s it! See how easy that was?
Now…you’re ready to plant! I did a ton of research before adding in plants. The good thing about raised beds is that you plant them in square feet – not rows like traditional gardens. This way you get much more out of your beds. I found an online website that has pre-planned beds of all kinds. It totally takes the guess work out of planting! Just find a plan you like that fits your family’s needs – they even provide planting instructions for each plant – and you’re good to go! I chose the High Yield Garden and the Fun for Kids Garden. Both of them were full of food we love! Tomatoes, corn, collard greens, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, broccoli and more!
My husband (and friends) like I’m a little crazy for planting so much, but I just followed the directions. If it works, AWESOME! If not, we’ll know for next year! I already have seeds sprouting and plants growing though! I have high hopes!
Hopefully you can get a garden in this year and are able to bless your family and friends with fresh, all natural produce from you own back yard! I’d love to see your garden, so link me up if you have a blog post! I’ll keep you updated on our progress too!
Planting a successful raised garden bed doesn’t have to be intimidating – just do your research and get a plan in place. In no time you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables all season long!3