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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 12:16 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Houston, TX
Maybe I haven't looked hard enough but I'm trying to find some info on the "perfect" blend of soil and amendments for starting a raised vegetable garden.

I'm starting off small, just a 4'x4'x12" bed. Do I just fill it with topsoil and start planting or do I need to add cornmeal, worm castings, greensand, lava sand, etc? If so, how much do I add and how often?

Does the "perfect" mix depend on what I'm planting? I'm starting off with carrots & cantaloupes. But I willl soon add blackberries, pumpkins & corn.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
I've been looking for the perfect garden soil for about 25 years and haven't found it yet. Most of the "topsoil" I have found in this area is way too heavy. The compost I have found in bulk is way too unfinished and full of wood chips. The best amendment I have found was some mushroom compost from about five years ago, and I don't access to the same stuff anymore. Your best bet is to start a lasagne garden pile and let it break down for several months, then plant it next spring. Be sure to use plenty of greens versus your brown sources like leaves. Good luck, and if you find really good stuff ready to buy, let me know.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:20 am 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 12:16 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Houston, TX
I do plan on making the lasagna mixture for the next beds that I'll build later. But my kids, 3 & 5, really wanted to plant something now.

I ca get mushroom compost from Southwest Fertilizer here in Houston. Should I just blend that in with some topsoil? What ratio?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
I don't know what your area soil is like, but ours is a dark heavy clay. If I could get the same mushroom compost I used to get, I would mix it about 50/50 with my soil here. It seemed to be great for fluffing up the soil here. My best soil, quite by accident, is not in the vegetable beds, but in the perennial bee and butterfly garden area. I've seen mushroom compost at my favorite garden store in this area (just a little plug for Weatherford Gardens) :) but for the quantities I need, it is quite cost-prohibitive. It's a little hot to be planting much of anything right now, but you could probably have a good hot lasagne bed ready by September if you really tend it well.


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