How To Keep Raised Bed Soil Healthy – Give New Life To Old Soil

How To Keep Raised Bed Soil Healthy – Give New Life To Old Soil :  Want to refresh and re-energize your raised bed soil to keep it healthy and grow bigger, better plants?  Raised beds are one of the easiest and most successful ways to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs, especially for individuals without the area for a traditional garden or who have physical constraints that make large gardens problematic.


How To Keep Raised Bed Soil Healthy – Give New Life To Old Soil 

They can grow magnificent plants with appropriate drainage and soil. But if that soil isn’t properly cared for or replenished with nutrients, your raised bed plants can fail rapidly.

Our whole audio on raised bed soil health is below, or you may read the article. Our podcast resource links are always at the conclusion of each article.



Raised Bed Maintenance – How To Keep Raised Bed Soil Healthy

Before we discuss how to recharge beds, let’s discuss a few things you can do to keep your raised beds healthy year-round.

Two important fall jobs can keep raised beds strong. Remove spent plants during summer growing season first. Leaving dead flowers or vegetables in the soil over winter causes several problems.

Old plants degrade and burn soil resources until they die. Save resources for next year’s plants. Old plants still have pests and diseases. If they stay in the soil, they can attack your young plants next year.

Covering your soil is another important fall task before winter. I recommend a life-giving cover crop (see below). Cover your raised beds with leaves, mulch, or a tarp.



How to Improve Raised Bed Soil:

Life and nutrients abound in compost. It improves soil structure and moisture retention. Fresh compost can be added each spring before planting. Best results come from a few inches of soil.

Green Grass Clippings – If you don’t use herbicides, yard clippings are fantastic for beds. They offer nitrogen and many micronutrients.


Leaf shredding – Use your mower to shred all those leaves. Incorporate a couple inches of dirt into your raised beds. They add micronutrients and improve soil structure like grass clippings.


Pulverized egg shells add calcium to soil. Calcium aids early plant growth and prevents blossom and black end rot on tomato and pepper plants.

Best results come from finely grinding egg shells. We grind ours with a coffee grinder. The soil absorbs finer shells faster.


Maintaining Healthy Raised Bed Soil with Additional Nutrients

Worm castings are unbeatable! They build beautiful soil and add micronutrients. To nourish plants, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of worm castings to each planting hole.

Perlite and vermiculite may not give power, but they loosen soil greatly. Better yet, they don’t degrade and prevent soil compacting in the future.



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Cover Crops For Raised Beds – How To Keep Raised Bed Soil Healthy

Powering raised beds with cover crops is great. A fall cover crop of cereal rye or oats helps strengthen your soil. Cut and dig the crop in April.

Early spring green manure crops can be planted in raised beds. A fast-growing oat crop can be turned over to replenish nutrients. It boosts soil before planting.

To replenishing your raised bed soil this year and keeping your beds healthy for years to come!



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