For your vegetables to grow strong and healthy you really need to start with your dirt.
Time and time again I see people at the checkouts of the local garden centre with a trolley full of the worst potting mix you can possibly buy and these beautiful plants that I know are headed for their untimely death. It’s likely that after they’ve wasted all this money on poor quality potting mix they will give up on gardening all together, which is the real waste.
Finding the right mix can be super confusing. And when it comes to filling a raised bed, you may be tempted to head to your local landscaping company, fork out $500 on good quality garden soil only to get the same results that you would have got if you purchased the cheap potting mix from your garden centre. I know I’ve been there, it took a good 6 months to fix that soil even though I was sold that it premium vegetable garden soil and ready to go.
There are many things that make a good soil for your vegetable patch and over the years I have developed a bit of a recipe for creating new beds and replenishing old ones. And you won’t have to wait 6 months to get it right (pic above is 6 weeks after planting).
My trick is many ingredients and layering these ingredients.
My raised bed soil recipe
- Start with a layer of sugar cane mulch or lucerne
- Layer of Aged Manure (check out my round up of poops here)
- Layer of Good Quality Compost (best if you make it yourself)
- A handful of Blood and Bone
- A handful of Dynamic Lifter
- A couple of handfuls of Worm Castings
- A sprinkling of lime, potash & epsom salts (read more about what things will help your soil here)
- A sprinkling of Rock Minerals
- A splash of Molasses
I finish off the top with another layer of sugar cane mulch, aged manure and compost. Make sure it’s right up to the top as it settles it will drop. I then water it in, let it sit for a week and then begin planting.
Do you have a go to recipe for your raised beds?