I know what some of you are thinking: Why does she have an entry on soil?
My yard consists of clay-like soil that is not suitable for growing plants. Instead of spending time amending it, I decided to build a raised bed and mix up my own soil. Below you will find the recipe for “Mel’s Mix” taken from the book.
6 cu. ft. peat moss
4 cu. ft. coarse vermiculite
3 cu. ft. sand
4 c./1 qt. Lime
4 c./1 qt. Organic fertilizer
5 g. wood ashes/charcoal
I did not have access to wood ashes, so I just left this out. I keep reading about the amazing benefits of wood ashes in gardens. Maybe this will motivate me to get a fire pit? Anyways, the composition of this soil should have the proper drainage of no standing water 3-4 hours after raining, but will retain moisture a few inches below the surface. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m green thumb challenged. I either water plants too much or not quite enough. Now I just stick my finger into my garden and if it’s dry I know that I need to water.
After you’ve mixed up the initial batch of soil, you can use the above materials in the same proportions to freshen up your beds as they lose soil from year to year. That’s what I did this year and I’m pleased with the composition and drainage of my bed.
Now you’re ready to decide the layout of your garden!