Here are some tips and resources for when you need to fill a raised bed vegetable garden:
START YOUR BED WITH LASAGNA GARDENING METHOD (aka SHEET MULCHING)
Lasagna gardening is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. The name “lasagna gardening” refers to the method of building the garden by adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in nutrient-rich soil that will help your plants thrive.
Alternate nitrogen-rich (“green”) and carbon-rich (“brown”) material available to you, such as grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves and bags, garden trimmings, cardboard, wood chips, small branches, straw, pine needles, newspaper, leaf mulch, compost and aged manure (from herbivores only). Note: we do not recommend using peat moss, which is not a readily renewable resource.
- ECOHOME article: Lasagna Gardening – The Easiest Vegetable Garden at Home? ECOHOME offers valuable information to create more sustainable, durable and healthier homes
- Charles Dowding on YouTube – many topics including how to start new beds and no-dig gardening. Suggested videos:
- Gardener Scott on YouTube
- The Spruce article: How to Make a Lasagna Garden
- Instructables.com: How to Build a Lasagna Bed
IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE SOIL, YOU NEED TO KNOW: HOW BIG IS MY CONTAINER?
You may be surprised at how much medium you need to fill a raised bed or other container. You might also decide to purchase part of your lasagna ingredients. For example, if you do not have compost readily available, you might purchase enough good quality compost to account for 2” of depth in your bed (it is not required for success). Note that bulk is often sold by the cubic yard, and bags of soil or amendments are sold by the US quart (dry) such as in 20 or 50 QT bags.
Calculate how much medium you need by volume/cubic feet:
- Soil Calculator https://www.hawthornegc.com/tools/soil-calculator
- How to calculate soil volume for raised garden beds https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/how-to-calculate-%20soil-volume-for-raised-garden-beds/
Convert cubic feet in US dry quarts or in cubic yards (or make other conversions):
DOWNLOAD Filling New Raised Bed
Resources provided by Master Gardener Catherine Connor.