What to Do With Old Dirt

rnp0123(Southern Cal)April 21, 2013

I have been working with two raised beds for a few years now. Initially there was some settling but now the soil is at the top. I usually add fresh compost and some manure every year. My question is what to do with the old soil that I dig out to make room for adding compost. I hate to dump the old top soil because structurally it is very good, although probably deprived of nutrients. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

If the beds are mostly old compost, I would just add the amount of compost and manure needed to top it off. The older stuff is still breaking down and releasing nutrients, and will also provide a matrix to recapture some of the more volatile nutrients released by decomposing manure. If you have just an inch or two of room, that is plenty of fresh compost to add each year to refresh the nutrients in the soil.

If you initially filled the beds with a significant of materials that were not parts of Mel's mix, on a one-time basis you may need to replace enough of what is in there to get with of the sand / silt component so what if left all breaks down enough each your to just top off with an inch or two of new compost.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:21PM
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rnp0123(Southern Cal)

Let me explain, the soil is at the top. There in no room to add more soil unless I take something out.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:16PM
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japus

Could you use that to start anew bed?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:57PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I was gonna suggest a new bed too? lol

Do you have a compost pile you could add it to?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:19PM
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