Does my raised bed garden need the soil stirred up?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have raised beds that I have just pulled up the remainder from my winter garden, the soil looks dry and old, it was mostly compost when I put it in. Im getting ready to replant, my question is, should I just put more compost on top and plant, or does it need to be dug in? Thanks
-- Roxanne (Roxanne143@webtv.net), February 08, 2002
definitely dig it in - it will need that oxygen
-- hmm (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.
If I was you I would turn the soil over and add more compost. You can never add too much compost and it would be good to turn the soil and rotate crops. Here in Minnesota there are many different beleifs about do you turn before or after the winter. I have come to the comclusion that I will turn after the sinter in order to minimize soil/nutrient loss and moisture loss.
-- Susan in Minnesota (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2002.
It sounds as if you have exhausted your nutrient load from your old compost. I'm assuming that you grew a summer garden in the same place as your winter garden, and if that is the case, you may be trying to draw on more nutrients than you have provided. A raised bed does not necessarily ever have to be turned, and the least amount of turning the better as far as biological activity is concerned, but if you are planting continuous crops in the bed then you HAVE TO mulch heavily with more compost, particularly if you have heavy drawing plants like corn, in the summer. Make sure you rotate your crops; If you have Kale, or chard in one spot of your winter garden, put carrots, and turnips there the next year. I don't know your soil, but if you have former compost that looks dry, I'd take a potfull of it into the house and water it, and see what happens to it. If it stays moist for a reasonable length of time, then you can probably add a bit of potting soil, or compost when your planting, and mulch heavier this year. If it dries out too quickly for your liking then you should probably dig in your compost, and maybe add something that will hold moisture in your bed, like shredded newspaper, or peat. Also, do some tests for worms. If you have no worms, chances are you don't have good soil left in your raised beds. Thats all I can think of; hope you have success.
-- roberto pokachinni (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.
better safe than sorry... better turn it at least once between now and planting time. Also you may want to add a couple of containers of earthworms from the local bait store... those little critters are real mulch-making-factories.
-- otter (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2002.
Yes, but you should work in some organic matterial at the same time, oxygen with out food can starve your soil life.
-- Thumper/inOKC (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.