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Raised Garden Beds

Q.Raised Bed Garden Soil Compacted Over Time. Thinking About Adding Hardwood Mulch To Lessen The Soil Compaction?

Zone 15666 | Anonymous added on March 18, 2022 | Answered

I have two 5′ x 10′ raised beds that were filled with expensive bagged garden soil. Over time, it all compacted into dense dirt. I am considering adding hardwood mulch (a finer mulch) to loosen it up. Would that work well enough? I have also considered Perlite which is substantially more expensive and less available. The original bagged garden soil seemed to have a fair amount of wood mulch in it. Would adding wood mulch alleviate the compaction issues until it degraded also?? Thank you very much for any guidance – Don P.S. I can’t afford to buy 35 cubic feet of new bagged garden soil for each raised bed.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 20, 2022

It wouldn't hurt to mix in some mulch, but it would be better to add a layer of organic matter such as compost on top and mix it in two or three inches. It will work its way down in time. Any mulch on top will also eventually decompose and help loosen the soil.


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