This is my second season using raised vegetable beds. I started out
with top soil mixed with peat moss and compost. Last winter I covered
each bed with straw then burnt it off in the spring upon the advice of
an old farmer friend. The tomatoes in one of the beds didn't do as well
as the others and the green peppers were poor performers. I'm thinking
I need to fortify the soil but am not sure what to add. I was thinking
manure and possibly compost then thought adding more peat moss wouldn't
be a bad idea. Any ideas on this? When would be the best time to add
the fortifiers - spring or fall?
I would think adding both compost and manure would make the peat moss
unnecessary. It wouldn't hurt, but you will already be adding a lot
vegetable matter to the soil. Will the manure be fresh or composted?
It's usually best to add soil amendments when they'll have time to
work for a few months, and fresh manure really does need some time to
Thanks for your help, Penelope. I would be adding manure bought in bags
from the hardware store so I think it would be composted. I don't have
much of my own compost but will use what I do have as well as that
bought from a waste station. So I should add the amendments in the fall
so they are ready to work in the spring?
i use raised beds and ahve done for a long time now and my main
preffered medium to start with is mushroom compost in a composted form
or fresh from the farm it hasn't made any difference to my successes.
can't see any need for using peat moss, when i make a bed for the
first time i add what ever other green or compostable stuff before
putting the mush' compost on top. thereafter all i do is heavily mulch
with hay or slashed grass mulches and add the kitchen scraps as well
as we save the night water and this gets watered onto the gardens
along with the grey water.
can't for the life of me see the need to burn anything??!!
the remains of the seasons crops just get tucked under the mulch layer
as well and that's about it too easy hey?
With peace and brightest of blessings,
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."
Peat moss is quite acidic. I add it to the area around my blue berries to
bring the pH down. If the beds were too acidic, this could be the reason for
the "poor performance". Check the pH of your beds and add lime if necessary.
It takes awhile for the lime to affect the pH so amending the fall before is
the best time to add the lime so it can work over the winter.
Hope this helps.
keep adding compost... during the fall (if you don't grow anything) put your
leaves and grass clippings in and rotate them into the soil. you'll have
beautiful black soil.
I also mulch with newspaper which the earthworms love. and as you know,
earthworm castings are wonderful for soil.
I never add peat moss..... just add compost and an occasional bag of manure
just cuz it's cheap.
I was in charge of 25 plots 20 ft x 4ft. (garden at a school)
nicole in ca
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