Recharge Your Raised Bed

If you have raised beds, there are a few tasks that will make your gardens more productive. Learn how to get them ready for the new season. Start by pulling any weeds that have overwintered. Then use a hoe to loosen and fluff the soil because winter snow and rain can compact it.

If you have raised beds, there are a few tasks that will make your gardens more productive. Here’s how to get them recharged and ready for the new season:

  • Pull any weeds that have overwintered.
  • Use a hoe to loosen and fluff the soil because winter snow and rain can compact it.
  • If the soil has settled, top it off with an inch or two of fresh compost and mix it into the existing soil.
  • Replenish nutrients and re-energize the soil with the Raised Bed Booster Kit, which includes two 6-quart bags of Booster Mix (compost, Chilean nitrate, black rock phosphate and other organic nutrients) and a 1-pound shaker of organic All-Purpose Fertilizer (5-5-5). Treats 18 square feet (a 3 x 6-ft. bed) for one season.

Gardener’s tip: If you are not planting within a week, cover the bed with a layer of straw to protect the soil. This will, however, prevent the soil from warming up and drying out. So you’ll need to uncover the bed at least a week before planting warm-season crops.

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5 Responses to Recharge Your Raised Bed

  1. Thanks for the tips, will have to give this a try this year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our tomatoes last year got TMV although we did mail-order and do not smoke. How can we irradiate it from the bed? This was a big reason we went to using a bed and were so disappointed.

  3. The most important thing is to remove and destroy infected plants. Prevent problems by choosing disease-resistant varieties, keep aphids under control (they spread the virus), and wash hands after handling tobacco and before touching tomato plants. Soil treatments have shown to be ineffective. The University of Minnesota has a good article on the disease: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/dg1168.html

  4. fossil says:

    SOOOOOO how do you prep a perennial raised bed? My herb garden is in a raised rock bed and I'd love to perk up the dirt for my peppermint, but I don't want to scrape them out of the bed, dig them up, or chop them up with a garden implement.

  5. There are a couple things you can do for perennial beds:
    -Top-dress perennial beds with compost. A shovelful or two for each plant, more if you have it. Another option is Container Booster Mix: http://www.gardeners.com/Container-Soil-Booster-Mix/FlowerGardening_FertilizersSoil,31-571,default,cp.html
    -If you're not using the booster mix, top-dress the soil with granular, slow-release fertilizer, such as All-Purpose Fertilizer: http://www.gardeners.com/All-Purpose-Plant-Fertilizer/Landscaping_OrganicFertilizers,11835,default,cp.html
    -David Grist, Gardener's Supply

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