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Soil Choices – A question came into Ask Gardenerd this week. “Hello, I will be constructing a new garden on top of grass. What is the best type and mixture of soils to buy and how deep should it be? Thank you! Ami”
Soil is the most important part of your garden, Ami, so you’re asking the right questions. We do have a formula for making your own soil blend in Gardening for Geeks in the All About Soil chapter, but here are some ideas for bagged mixes that we like. Malibu Compost – Our favorite out-of-the-bag solution for growing great veggies is their potting soil, Baby Bu’s. This blend of biodynamic compost, coir, and perlite is great stuff. Their original product was just the compost (Bu’s Blend), which is great for amending existing beds. It is not cheap, but good-quality products rarely are. You will see a huge difference in your garden. Bumper Crop – is a Master Nursery Garden Center product that I used before Malibu Compost came along. We blended it with coir (coconut coir – a sustainable alternative to peat moss) and vermiculite for moisture retention. Master Nursery also makes a product called Gardeners Gold, which is a potting soil that can be used without blending additional ingredients. It contains peat moss (as do most potting soil products) but is a lower-cost alternative. As far as depth goes, we recommend at least 12” deep for raised beds, and deeper if you have contaminated soil. You also want to make sure you dig out any grass that has a rhizome or running behavior, because that kind of grass thrive under raised beds and will eventually show up topside. Find more information about other soil amendments we recommend, find the full article in the October 2017 Gardenerd Gazette. Thanks for writing in, Ami. We hope this helps.