First raised bed

griley(z5 Chicago)December 25, 2003

Hi! I'm new to this forum and to vegetable gardening. I'm planning a raised bed for vegetables and have a question about how to fill it with soil. The bed will be about 16 inches tall and will be placed over an existing grassy area. Is it necessary to kill the grass and till it before adding soil to the bed? Also, what kind of soil does one use to fill a raised bed? I know using our clay soil would not be appropriate for proper drainage but do you just add amended top soil? What amendments do you add and in what amounts do you add them? The bed will be either 8'x4' or 12'x4' and about 16 inches tall. Thanks for your help. Happy Holidays!

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We usually kill off the grass first by covering with heavy cardboard and leaves and leaving it all winter, in the spring pull out the cardboard, add bags of top soil some peat and sand to the decayed leaves and mix well together, we usually add other amendments such as blood meal, bone meal, phosphate, according to instructions. To have a good loose organic soil with good drainage is the the objective. A raised bed decreases need to bend or kneel. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2003 at 3:40PM
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Thirston(7/Charlotte, NC.)

So, I'm curious... will 12"-16" of soil placed over the existing grass be enough to kill it off? I'm asking because I am thinking of making a raised bed or two in the next few weeks but am unsure what to do about the grass below. Should I place a thick layer or newspaper over the grass then set the soil above that? Will the grass be able to find it's way through the classifieds and 12"-16" of soil to the sun?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 6:23PM
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marie99(z8 SC)

Put the newspapers or cardboard down just to be safe. If the soil doesn't kill the grass you will be so sorry.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 9:35PM
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