Filling Raised beds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by duke3522, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am getting ready to fill two 4’ by 100’ raised beds. They are made with standard concrete blocks. I am planning on using peat moss, vermiculite, and compost mix. My problem is that I don’t even have the beginnings of enough compost. Should I use the stuff that is sold in the bags? I am also going to call the city and ask them if they have any compost since they have a leaf pick up program in town. I also have newspaper roll ends that I could shred and use in the beds. Any other ideas out there?

    Thanks
    Duke
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you have access to a wooded area? Some of that decomposing leaf material from the forest floor would be great.
     

  3. Ragamuffin2004

    Ragamuffin2004 Well-Known Member

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    Before using the stuff sold in bags, call around and find out which places in your area sell mushroom compost. It will be much cheaper unbagged from a local source by the pickup or dump truck load. Plus if you get a dumptruck load full, you should have plenty for the rest of the year and into next year. If you have a pickup, you could haul it yourself. Price will vary by area and demand. I think we paid about $14 for a mostly full pickup bed full about 3 years ago. Then 2 years ago, I paid $80 at a school auction for a dumptruck load (value about $250) delivered.
     
  4. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ravenlost,

    Don't have any woods near by. The farmer on all three sides took care of all that yeras ago :waa: . But I do have side yards full of last years leaves. I uselly just leave them and let the mower chop them up. But maybe DS and myself should get out there this afternoon and do some raking. Probably still won't be enough.

    Also, i struck out with the city. the guy told me they had composting leaves but that there was a lot of trash mixed in.

    Maybe I'll call the horse stable in the phone book. See if the have any older stuff I can have.

    Duke
     
  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we filled our 13'x16' beds we got two dump truck loads of ancient rotted sawdust; then added many a load of rotted horse manure from our neighbors--she only feeds the best of hay to her mini horses so no weed seeds. then we water with Sea Magic...and miracle of miracles, no rocks! Like heaven here n MO to just plant and not have a 5 gal. pail of rocks each time. Parts of our 18 year + garden site STILL look like a gravel pit. DEE
     
  6. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    I am doing the same thing this year. I am getting my compost from the city yard waste composting place. They are charging $26/Cubic Yard. I can get Comtil cheaper...but the composted human waste thing creeps me out.

    Good Luck!

    Shane
     
  7. Wannabee

    Wannabee Foggy Dew Farms

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    Duke -

    I talked to the guy that runs the nursery at Harper's in Swayzee. I'm in the same boat as you. I have to fill the raised beds, too. He said that the absolute best topsoil in the area comes from Garthwaite Rd - IMI. His suggestion (he did it himself) was to fill the majority of the bed up with the topsoil, then add a pre-mix with vermiculite, etc, into it. (3 Cubic foot bags). Then mix it all up, and he claims he has the perfect raised beds.........

    Just a suggestion. I will probably give it a go. Let me know if you find anything better in Grant Co. Thanks
     
  8. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wannbe,

    I called IMI and they gave me a delivered price of $18.50 a ton for top soil, and their trucks hold 20 ton. I also talked to a guy out of Gaston who will deliver a truck load of garden mix, peat moss and top soil, for $15 a yard plus a $35 delivery charge. He has a 15 yard truck so the total and said I get a small discount on a whole truck so it would be $240. Of course no one is delivering right now because of all the rain. I get pretty confused when I start comparing tons to cubic yards so I am not sure which is the better deal. Maybe I will post that question on the homesteading page. I think I will probably go with one of these options.


    Also, I have checked into mushroom castings with no luck around here.
    Duke

    PS Nice to meet another Grant Co. resident on here.
     
  9. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    We filled two 4x20' beds last year. We used our own soil and then got organic compost. It was not that pricey. We went and got it in our pickup. We had planned on getting more than we did but the place we got it said it was too rich and we should only put a little in our beds. Then we tilled it in and had great luck. We just looked in our local phone book and started calling.
     
  10. kidsnchix

    kidsnchix Well-Known Member

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    I read something recently where they suggested that you might be able to go to your local county fair grounds and clean up the stables. That might be an option.

    RoseKYTN