What to fill up deep 75cm garden beds for Community Garden

by Garden Djinni
(Hurst, TX, USA)

We are building a community garden. Ground "covering" breaking is on Feb 5th.
I am encouraging the group to use The No Dig method. I need you expertise in one little point. Our beds are extra tall so elderly or the wheel chair confined can access the garden. We are building our beds about 30" tall or between .6-.8 meters deep using cinder blocks as our walls.

Which layers do we we need to increase to fill the beds? And by how much?

I read that someone used straw after the newspaper layer as a filler. But, if we can get good fill dirt, should we use fill dirt instead of straw? Then at the appropriate height begin our layers as instructed on the website? Which is best? Straw as filler sounds good - because it's light. But I'm sure we can get fill dirt donated if you think that is best. My worry with straw as filler is the whole bed will settle down.

Comments for What to fill up deep 75cm garden beds for Community Garden

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Jan 30, 2011
go with straw
by: Ellen

You are doing a GREAT thing - I am almost 80 and working with no-dig has saved my life - literally - because I love to garden.
Straw is fine as a first layer over the paper base. It will settle, but that gives you room to add more good soil and more compost. I have oak trees and my daughter has pines, so I gather as much oak leaves and pinestraw as I am able to rake, and pile that up to compost. Almost anything you can compost, do. I planted potatoes late last summer on top of the ground and covered them with about 6" of straw -- had a good return for my non-efforts. [I live in North Florida.] So I say YES to straw. Have fun!!

Feb 01, 2011
Yes to Straw
by: Ellen

Hi Ellen from Fla. , I'm from south east Georgia and I say yes to straw too. I have made a compost bins out of bales of straw. I'm going to do the no dig potatoes with the straw and the newspaper.

Feb 02, 2011
Filling up deep raised beds
by: Jitterbug

To my mind straw would rot down and in a few months everything else would sink and you'd all tip over the edge trying to garden!
Of course you could keep topping up layers, but methinks the vege would not be pleased to keep getting smothered in straw and compost, so you could only do that when there was nothing much growing.
Picture this----If your raised beds were not so high, then the bottom layer would naturally be good old common-or-garden soil, so what I'm saying is that just do the same for deep raised beds, dump in the first bottom layer of a good foot or so of the good earth.

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