View Full Version : New to Gardening - Need soil help

05-10-2011, 04:38 PM
Well hello everyone!! I am new here and completely new to gardening!!

I have built a 4x6 raised bed that is 10-inches deep, that will be in full sun for at least 8 hours a day. Now I am looking to fill it and get my plants in there.

I have been doing a lot of online research regarding what type of soil I need to use and and how much of each. I am looking for a little guidance and to know if I bought the right stuff.

My native soil is garbage...so I am filling the bed with other stuff.

I bought 14 cu. ft. of Miracle Grow Garden Soil, 3 cu. ft. of Peat Moss, and 3 cu. ft. of a Manure/Hummus mix. Is this good??

Also, when I go to mix the soil....do I mix everything together and then fill the bed?? Do I put some down in layers and just mix the top??

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance!!

05-11-2011, 11:01 AM
Hello, sounds like you have it dialed in, Good job on your choices...Yes, get a wheelbarrow, or lay out a tarp, mix the amendments, and then fill your beds...I would water it well, and let it settle and dry enough to plant first....
Most garden soils if placed in a flower pot, or raised bed compact after successive waterings and restrict root growth, so your soil is no different...You've done good :)

05-11-2011, 01:56 PM
I agree... you've done a good job with your materials. I built a couple beds this year and filled it with almost all the same materials you did. I used about 60% organic garden soil - 10% sand (not the play sand) - 10%regular top soil - and about 20% peat. For good measure, I also mixed in a couple 5 gal buckets of my own compost. I also watered it and things are looking good. I've gone out and checked it a couple times and it appears the worms are getting in there and enjoying it, so that's good! I'd say you are definitely on the right track!

05-13-2011, 05:08 AM

I finished filling the bed today. I have 2 cu.ft. of soil left and 1cu.ft. of peat left.

I watered the soil, but the water was not draining through the soil. I would let it sit a few minutes and it would still be pooled up on the surface...then I'd use a pitch fork and underneath was completely dry.

So someone told me that new soil can be water "repellent" a bit and to water it and mix it a couple times. So I did that....then I lost sun light. When I left it, it still seemed to be mostly mud.

Did I do something wrong?? Is this other guy right in saying it is repellent at first?? Should I add more peat?? But doesn't peat hold water?? I'm totally baffled right now.

05-13-2011, 09:33 AM
no, the soil you have will soak the water up, it will just take some itme and turning it.
When we start our garden bedding plants, I lay the potting soil out on plastic, and use a pump up sprayer to wet it, then cover and let it sit over night, next day it's ready to use, and...it will then take water normally

06-09-2011, 10:38 PM
So everything is planted and growing well!! I have string beans and peas already growing.

But the soil just doesn't seem right. When I water the garden, the water pools up on the surface and then runs down to a corner that is a low part of the garden. Today after watering, I dug into the garden and noticed that the soil underneath the top layer was not getting wet.

What is going on here??

08-12-2011, 08:19 AM
What would be one of the best types of soil fertilizer? I have been using fox farm but I can't seem to find anything better

08-15-2011, 04:31 PM
Fox Farm is a fantastic soil in my opinion. I would especially recommend their Ocean Forest - http://foxfarmfertilizer.com/products_soils1.html - It's a really good mix.