Old 02-28-04, 05:42 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Question Soil

I am going to try and plant a vegatable garden. Since I am
a city boy I need help. My garden will be above ground. It will be
12' x 12' and nine inches deep.I was going to buy bags of one
cubic foot of garden planting soil but since it would take over
one hundred bags it is too expensive. How can I make my own
soil? What would the ratio be for soil and sand and other
ingrediants I shoud use? What should I use?? I plan on planting
tomatoes and peppers. I live in northern Delaware when should
I plant my tomatoes plants and peppers? Thank you in advance.

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Old 02-29-04, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
It sounds as if you want raised beds instead of a raised bed. Beds that are raised, 3 to 4 feet wide will be all you can tend without having to step into them. Leave the rows between at ground level without having to improve soil you won't be gardening. This will give you three raised beds about 3 feet wide with 18 inch rows between for foot traffic. All 12 feet long. Now you will have 96 square feet of beds to raise instead of 144.

You can use landscape timbers, bricks, stones, fabric, or nothing to form the sides of the raised beds. The raised bed will drain water, and provide a focal place for the improved soil.

A soil test from the county agricultural extension service will tell you what to add to the soil for nutrients and such.

When you raise the beds, you can add compost, planting soil, sand and mulch. Many things can be added to improve friability and moisture retention of the soil. Structurally, the soil should hold moisture without gumming the way that clay will, without drying out so fast as will sand. The organic, vegetative material will help hold water as well as prevent clumping. The earthworms will work diligently to distribute it throughout the soil.

The University of Missouri has a good, informative site on raised bed gardening.

Hope this helps.
Old 02-29-04, 08:02 PM
marturo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Smile Niteshade family

The only thing's I could add is. Tomato's, Peppers & Eggplant's, are all in the Deadly Nightshade Family & should not be grown near each other.

Tomato's & Peppers do well in 1,2 & 3 gallon black plastic pots. Growing Basil between every 5 tomato plants, will cover their scent from preditors.

We only pay $7.00 for 4 Cubic feet of Sunshine Soiless potting soil, we would make our own but it must be sterilized under a steam cover. We made it in Hort School & I am so glad it comes in bags all ready to go.

Take some time & learn what the plant needs are, then watch them and learn.

Good luck to you on your new adventure.

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