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Adding to raised beds to retain moisture?

Posted by kathyp z9 CA (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 2:00

Ok - facing a catastrophic drought here in CA. I have 12 established raised beds, and am looking for an additive that will aid in moisture retention. I have a modest compost pile - and that has been impacted by the drought as well - no grass clippings, very little garden waste, mostly kitchen waste and shredded paper.

I am looking for something to add that is both organic and will aid in water retention. all of the beds have drippers and a thick mulch, but I am still finding that the soil is drying out to a point where the water just rolls off the top rather than sinking down to the roots.

I water once a week.

any suggestions?

Much thanks in advance!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Adding to raised beds to retain moisture?

" the water just rolls off the top rather than sinking down to the roots. "

Bury the drip lines or emitter tips under the mulch to ensure the water soaks in.

Water in shorter sessions, but for the same length of time. Instead of half an hour, do 2 15-minute sessions an hour or so apart on your watering day.

Add more mulch

RE: Adding to raised beds to retain moisture?

I would like to set up a raised bed soon,of 2x12 redwood. I use containers now but i was hoping a bed, if i dig deeply under it, would help roots stay cooler. Any idea if adding peat to the soil will help?

I like the idea of drip emitters under deep mulch. Let us know if it helps...

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