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# How to Mix Soil for Raised Beds

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### How to Mix Soil for Raised Beds

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## Overview

The soil for a raised bed needs to provide good drainage as well as good water holding capacity, and not crust over easily. Adding compost and sand to topsoil in the right amount will provide the perfect growing medium for your raised bed. While, many garden centers carry ready-to-use soil mixes for raised beds, there are advantages to mixing it yourself. You get more control over the contents and can use your own garden soil, purchase topsoil or use a combination of both.

### Step 1

Calculate the amount of soil you will need. Length x width x height = volume of soil. For example, 6 feet x 4 feet x 1 foot= 24 cubic feet of soil

### Step 2

Take the total amount of soil and divide it into 4 parts. Continuing with the above example, 24 cubic feet/ 4 parts= 6 cubic feet. Each part is 6 cubic feet.

### Step 3

Using 1 part compost, 1 part sand and 2 parts topsoil, calculate how much of each ingredient you will need. If one part is 6 cubic feet. you will need 6 cubic feet of compost, 6 cubic feet of sand and 12 cubic feet of topsoil.

### Step 4

Lay your tarp out on the ground. Dump the top soil, compost and sand into a pile on top of the tarp.

### Step 5

Using your spade shovel, mix the three components together and fill your prepared raised bed with the mixture.

## Things You'll Need

• Tarp
• 1 part compost
• 1 part sand or perlite
• 2 parts top soil

## References

• Cornell Cooperative Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
Keywords: filling raised beds, raised bed soil mixes, medium for raised beds