Soil for raised vegetable bed

(Question)

Hello – I have just built two cedar raised beds to grow vegetables. I need to fill the beds with soil. The beds are currently situated on existing grass in my backyard.

I have 2 questions:

1. What ratio of triple mix, compost, manure, top soil etc. should I use to fill the beds initally?

2. Do I need to line or layer the bottom of the beds with something to deter pests from the grass or from burrowing under the cedar bed edges?

Thank you! I appreciate any advice you can offer.

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiry. There are many advantages to growing vegetables in raised beds. Raised beds warm up quickly, allowing for early planting. They are useful where the soil and drainage is poor.

Most vegetables and herbs grow best in full sun, therfore your raised bed should be located in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. Ideally, choose a location handy to the kitchen that is close to a water source.

Pressure treated wood or railway ties are not recommended for use around the beds due to the potential for toxic wood preservatives leaching into the soil and being absorbed by the plants

Newspapers or landscape cloth should be spread on the ground to help suppress weeds. Then, fill the box with a mix of equal parts topsoil or triple mix, compost ( peat moss, decaying leaves)  and manure. Rake soil evenly.

The following links provide excellent information on raised bed gardening: Orgainc Vegetable Gardening : A Toronto Master Gardeners Guidehttp://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-200.pdfhttps://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP291-N.pdf

Good Luck and I hope that you enjoy a bountiful harvest