How Much Soil Do I Need To Fill My Raised Bed Gardens?

Filed Under: Vegetables · Keywords: How Much, Soil, To, Fill, Raised Bed, Garden, Planters · 2368 Views
I am putting in raised gardem beds...two that will be 8 x 16 and 5" deep, using 2 x 6's, how much compost and topsoil mix do I need and what is the cost. Also before adding the soil, should I use my tiller on the ground first. The soiol beneath the beds is red clay. I live in McDonough, Georgia.

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Answer #1 ·'s Answer · Hi Ed - Your two beds are each approximately 130 square feet in size and 5 inches deep. This means you'll need about 2 to 2.5 cubic yards of soil to fill each bed, or a total of 5 to 6 cubic yards. When I filled my raised vegetable garden beds with soil, I used a 50/50 mixture of top soil and organic compost. I'm a stickler for using organic products whenever growing any fruit-bearing plants that will end up on the kitchen or dining room table. Our nursery (Wilson Bros Nursery) in McDonough, GA, sells both the top soil and the organic bulk and in bags. Regarding tilling the soil beneath the raised beds...I'd suggest doing so as this will improve drainage. Since your raised beds are 5 inches in height, you can use a motorized tiller or a shovel to turn the soil to about 6 inches deep or so, mixing in some good topsoil or sand to improve the soil drainage. One thing for sure, most common vegetable plants do not like wet feet...good drainage is essential. That's why building raised beds is so beneficial. You're doing the right thing:-)

Let us know if you need more details or have any other questions.


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Answer #3 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Ed-Since I am located in Southern Calif. and you are in Ga. I will let my friend Brent answer your questions as you have found some great help at Wilson Bros. that knows your location well. Hopefully the weather is warming up a little for your all. I thought I would note a few links to articles by Brent on building and planting of raised beds you may be interested in. Also, you may have found that you can type in 'Vegetables' in the search box under the 'Articles' tab above and see many articles Brent has on growing vegetable in the South.


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Answer #2 · Ed Fricker's Answer · thank you very much, since I moved here in august I have purchased from you McDonough outlet, 10 leyland cypress trees, 2 apple trees,2peach trees,and 2 plumb trees,so I am familar with what you have. Will they mix the 50/50 or does it come separate?what does the truck hold that delivers2or3 cu yds?I think I would put sand underneath for the drainage, what about peat moss? I have some slow release fertilizer I bought when I got the trees, is that OK to use in the veg bed or do I need like 5-10-10?? Would you recommend planting marigolds or something to keep deer away? thank you very much)

Additional comments about this answer: · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
When loading the scoops on a truck they can alternate between the top soil and the organic compost. ILoading this way doesn't thoroughly mix it up but as it's being dumped or unloaded it usually mixes up fairly good. Our delivery truck can haul up to 15 scoops of soil, which is approximately 7.5 cubic yards. Putting sand underneath your raised bed or tilling it into the native soil will help with the drainage. I wouldn;t recommend tilling peat moss in with the native soil. Peat moss holds water. The fertilizer you use will be up to your personal preference. When feeding fruit and vegetable plants I always use an organic fertilizer. This year I'll be using Winchester Gardens Organic Vegetable Food in the vegetable garden. We carry this at the nursery. I'd definitely recommend planting marigolds and other flowering plants that attract beneficial insects or repel damaging insects. Bog Salvia is a good plant that some folks insist repels deer. It's flowers also attract pollinating insects. Here's a link to an article that provides some helpful information on organic insect control in the garden...

8 years ago ·
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