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How to Fill a Raised-Bed Garden

Updated February 21, 2017

A raised garden bed provides you with the ability to control the soil content of your garden. Raised beds are also easier to maintain since you do not have to bend down constantly to plant, weed or harvest. Most raised beds are made of cedar planks or bricks. Once you construct the bed, fill it with a mixture of soil and compost to provide the most fertile growing environment for your plants.

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  1. Fill the raised bed halfway with commercial garden soil.

  2. Add a 2-inch layer of organic compost and use the garden spade to mix it into the soil. Insert the spade into compost and soil mixture, then turn it upside down to turn the compost into the soil. Do this to the entire bed until you have mixed all the compost into the soil

  3. Fill the bed the rest of the way with gardening soil, minus 2 inches. Add another 2-inch layer of organic compost to the very top of the bed, and mix it into the soil with the garden spade in the same manner you did with the first layer. After you plant you beds and water them, the soil level will settle.

  4. Top off the raised beds by adding a 2-inch layer of organic mulch after you have planted all your plants. The mulch will keep moisture and warmth in the soil, and will help prevent weed growth.

  5. Tip

    Organic compost can be commercial compost, manure or compost from your own backyard. If you do compost at home, use equal parts green grass clippings, brown leaf litter or twigs, and food scraps from the kitchen. Do not compost meat or greasy foods, or you'll end up with rodents.

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Things You'll Need

  • Commercial garden soil
  • Organic compost
  • Garden spade
  • Mulch

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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