Soil For Raised Vegetable Beds.
Soil in raised – Lots of people are now growing Vegetables in raised beds, However some thought needs to given to the soil used to form the bed and also about maintaining the structure of the soil.
Because soil used in a raised bed has slightly different conditions than normal soil conditions the most important element is the soils structure. Often when filling raised beds people assume that a soil with a fine crumb structure that runs through the fingers will be best,however this is the worst type of soil for a raised bed as the action of watering and rain water over a very short period of time will compact this soil,this is because the particle sizes are so small they will lock together removing all the air spaces forming a solid soil which will also become wet and cold leading to stunted and late crops.
Ideally when building a raised bed you should start with a loam soil with a high content of fibrous matter.A loam soil is normally the soil grass has been grown on,its the soil just below the grass plants to a depth of about 15cm.
Improving or maintaining your soil – To improve your soil you will need to add more organic mater such as spent mushroom compost or well rotted farm yard or horse manure.This will improve the structures.It also a good idea to add some growmore fertilizer and the addition of some lob worms if your soil does not contain more than one worm for every 3 spade fulls you dig up.The Fertilizer will help feed the soil bacteria and micro organisms that will breakdown the organic matter and the worms will help to drag the organic mater into the soil and improve drainage.
Re- engineering your soil to suit your crops – With you basic soil established in your beds you can now add other elements to suit different crops for example with cabbage you will need to add lime,for carrots its a good idea to add sand and for crop such as asparagus you will need to add leaf mould and salt to create the conditions it has in its natural surroundings which area coastal.