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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Scotty on June 16, 2004 11:34 AM

OK, these will be simple questions, but as people say you have to start somewhere......

I have a garden with a small flower border down two sides, 'L' shaped.

I want to put in the log edging you can buy, I take it they just go into the ground and need no cementing etc ? Also I would like to raise the level of the beds, could this be done with soil and compost mixed, wot sort of ratio would I need to improve the plants rates of survival, as I don;t seme to be doing very well at the moment.....

Thanks for yoru help.

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Scott Austin
by Eugene Carroll on June 16, 2004 05:15 PM
I have some of those log borders, they're the cheap plastic kind. They have steel rods every 2 feet or so that you just push in the ground.

With the soil, it's hard to say what you need to add without knowing what kind of soil you have. Organic material is always good but it should be thoroughly mixed. Adding too much organic material at once often results in settling as the material decomposes. So, adding a moderate amount each year is better.

My personal preference is to use a quality mineral topsoil from a top soil provider. It costs a bit more but is usually less work and time than trying to amend poor soil. I like deep top soil.
by obywan59 on June 16, 2004 05:22 PM
Ideas for raised bed soil. Commercial potting soil mixed with the soil, or a mixture of any or all of the following: topsoil, peat, sand compost and well rotted manure. Also, a yearly application of organic slow realease fertlizer not too high in nitrogen would be beneficial.

If your beds aren't too big and you have the energy, you could try double digging. Dig a trench the depth of your shovel all the length of your bed, putting the dirt in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp. Then using either a digging fork or your shovel, just loosen the soil in the bottom of the trench not digging it up. Then, dig out another trench adjacent to the first one, placing the dirt into the first trench, loosen the soil as before. Use the reserved dirt from the first row to fill the last trench. You can dig in the soil amendments into the top layer of soil.

Double digging in itself will give you raised beds. Plant growth will be enhanced as you now have 2 shovel depths of loosened dirt which gives you better aeration and root growth. Just don't walk on the soil after digging as this will compact it.

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