Q.I Have Clay Soil And I Made A Raised Bed Without A Bottom. My Papaya Tree Still Died Of Root Rot. How Deep Does The Topsoil Have
to be for my vegetables and trees to grow? I put at least 6 inches of miracle-gro soil on top of my clay soil. I also tilled the ground and mixed in the native soil with the miracle gro so the vegetables and trees do not go into shock. After days of work to finish my raised beds to see my trees die after 6 months of growth due to improper drainage is so sad. Please help.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Papaya have shallow roots so it may not have been the soil. It could have been overwatering; they can't abide by wet feet.
It sounds like what you did would be adequate for vegetables and trees. However, veggies need more frequent watering than trees, so I would plant trees elsewhere.
Adding mulch to the beds will eventually improve the soil as it decomposes. Also, each year add additional compost as a side dressing and it will work its way down, too.