Bed Preparation 2012

New raised beds

Last fall I built four new raised beds using 1×6 and 2×4 boards, all out of  cedar. The 2×4’s were driven about 6″ into the ground but were also left to extend 18″ above the boards.This spring I built fence sections that would sit on top of the 2×4’s, essentially clipping onto them but allowing me to easily pull them off, too. This has worked quite well.

As for the soil itself, it is primarily constructed of compost obtained from Landscape Recycling in Urbana. I added two additional components:

The Epsoma has a range of microbes and minerals in addition to the traditional nitrogen, phosphorous, and potasium. Using a variety of limes provides an additional balance of sulphur, calcium, and magnesium. Combined, my research indicates increased good bacteria activity and a resulting increased uptake of nutrients into the plants. In the past I
had avoided adding lime, thinking it was only needed when soil is too alkaline. But one expert, my son Eric Wolske, assures me that addition of small amounts (about 1 cup per 4′ x 12′ bed, won’t disrupt a good pH balance we currently have for our soil, and will improve the health of our plants.


About mwolske

I'm a Senior Research Scientist in Community Informatics at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois.
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