I will be planting in raised garden beds early next year. Can you tell me what sort of soil I should buy to fill these beds?
Great to see you back on Workshop. Do you plan on growing vegetables in the raised garden beds? If so, there is a step-by-step guide to growing vegetables on the Bunnings website, which includes information about preparing your soil and the importance of mulch.
I imagine most people would simply use soil from elsewhere in their garden, but add compost and fertiliser. When we installed our Vegepod last year, we didn't need much soil so we simply used a few bags of potting mix, some cow manure and some perlite for extra aeration.
I've also attached the how to grow vegetables video below. I hope it's helpful. Other keen vegetable growers like @QuailFlock, @Adam_W and @CathM might also like to add their suggestions to this discussion.
Type of soil depends on what you plan to grow & the size of the beds. How easy the area is to access is also a consideration.
Also, as @Jason mentioned, whether you plan to buy-in soil or just use improved garden soil (doable but not what I would generally recommend for most raised beds but this depends on height etc).
Measure the bed up to work out the volume you need, length x width x depth will give you cubic metres.
So, for example, 1m x 2m x .3m = .6 of a cubic metre.
Now... in a cubic metre there are 1,000L. This is important to know because potting mix & bagged soil mixes are sold in bags measured in litres.
Personally if the volume was over about 250L I’d be using soil from a landscape supplier instead as it can get quite expensive but if access is difficult you may still need to buy bags.
You will find some good blends in 50L bags at Bunnings so that can make it more economical.
If you do order from a landscape supplier then you’ll need to express the order in cubic metres. So ½ a cubic metre for example.
The type of mix you use will depend on what you plan to grow, veggies, flowers, shrubs etc. but whatever you grow make sure the mix is suitable for use in a raised bed or large planter box.
And don't ever, ever scrimp on the quality of soil or mix to go into raised beds or planters or pots.
It's false economy to try & save some money by selecting a cheap mix.
And if anyone's looking for a raised planter bed project you might like my little video
Hi Adam, that information was very helpful.
I am planning to plant seasonal vegetables and companion flowers.
I was also planning on ordering soil from a landscaper, as you say it is more economical to do it that way. Is there a formula or special type of soil when ordering from a landscaper?
Also, thank you very much for explaining how to work out volumn....
Is it reasonalle to put broken rocks etc at the base of the flower bed, I heard that this was a good idea?
I am sure I will be in touch with you again.
Thank you for your help.
Thank you Jason for your information. It will come in very handy. I am planning on planting seasonal veg and companion flowers. I will be relying on your site once I begin my journey.
At the moment I am looking on information, and saving up to start late this year or early next year.
I know it is important to get the soil right, it appears in most responses. I will be ordering from a landscaper to keep costs down. So I will need to know what to order when ordering.....
I will look forward to our online chats.
i have built quite a few raised garden beds,i usually get a delivery of dirt from the local hardware shop,which is usually a mix of soil and pig manure,then i buy a few bags of mushroom compost,cow manure, and add dynamic lifter,and mix it altogether and fill the garden beds then once planted out i add mulch,
Hi @Gee, no worries,always happy to help
If ordering bulk soil you need to tell them that it's for a raised garden bed, the blend is slightly different & will generally contains more sand to reduce shrinkage & improve drainage.
Gravel or finely broken rock can be put in the bottom if drainage is a possible problem but under most circumstances it's not need.
Sometimes material like that is used to bulk out the bed. Using waste rock is cheaper than filling the entire bed with soil as most veggies etc only need & use the first 20 to 30cm of soil depth.
If you do put any sort of drainage or bulking material in as a bottom layer make sure that you then cover this with drainage fabric before adding the soil.
Where you have multiple sleepers high, offset the joins that when the natural bends oppose each other.