Raised bed gardening
I built a raised bed for my wife. Due to her back issues, I put it on legs so the bed does not actually touch the ground. I think I have some soil issues as some of my plants are turning yellow. My question really has 2 parts. 1. What is the best soil mixture for this type of raised bed? 2. Should I go to my local bait store and buy a cup of night crawlers and introduce into the soil? Thank you for your help. We are new to above ground gardening but do have a little experience in traditional gardening. I hope to learn more form this site and next year maybe double my raised bed area. Thank you, Richard Frank Mayo, South Carolina
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Raised beds are an excellent way to grow plants. You have much more control over the soil than you do the ground. You did not mention what type of plants are being grown, so I have included a general article on raised bed soil for you. There are many reasons for yellow leaves, but my first thought is overwatering or insufficient draining. Do the beds have sufficient drainage? You may want to consider adding a layer of gravel to the bottom to help promote drainage. Amending the soil is also a good idea. Add organic compost and either sand or vermiculite to make a looser, better drained soil. The compost will also add nutrients to the soil which should help with the health of the plants. Yes, you can add earthworms. Earthworm castings are a very good source of nutrients to the soil, and the movement of the worms creates pore space which also aids in drainage.
Here are a couple of articles you might find helpful: