Should I get my soil tested periodically?
Remember the SATs? Remember yearly exams? They weren't institutionalized torture, they were a way to measure your progress. Testing your soil in a raised bed garden has the same purpose.
If soils are always rich, well-drained and well-composted with good raised bed gardening technique, why test soils in raised bed gardening? After all, you have a more controlled environment.
School was a controlled environment too and yet you aced all your tests while the girl in front of you, the one voted Most Likely to Succeed, failed because of examination stress.
Here's a raised bed gardening tip or two for soil testing:
- Periodically squeeze your soil in a ball--if it forms easily, but crumbles, you have healthy soil.
- Have your local gardening center test the soil at the beginning of each growing season--you'll determine the acidity of the soil as well as the nutrient level.
- Check for earthworms--although raised gardens, especially tiered ones, usually are free from pests, earthworms help improve the aeration of the soil and represent healthy, friable black matter.
Your soil test may determine you need more organic matter in the soil--hot raised bed gardening tip: use leaves and roots from the end of the planting season. But you won't know where you are until you have a soil test. After all, you did get into the college of your dreams thanks to doing all those practice SATs.
Raised Garden Frequently Asked Questions
What is a raisen garden bed and why should I build one?
Can I change the shape of my raised bed garden?
What's the best wood to build a raised bed garden?
How do I keep the raised bed garden frame from colapsing?
How do I build in protection for my raised bed garden plants?
How do I lay the soil when building raised bed gardens?
Can I use stone to build raised bed gardens?
How large should I build my raised bed garden?
How do I make sure my frame is even?
How do I keep weeds and leaves out when building my raised beds?
Do raised garden beds help the elderly and disabled?
How does organic gardening benefit the environment?
Are raised gardens good for families with kids?
Are raised beds ideal for organic gardening?
Does raised bed gardening allow more soil aeration?
Isn't organic gardening difficult when you mix compost?
Will a raised bed garden save space?
Is organic gardening good for flowers in raised beds?
Do raised garden beds make crop rotation easy?
Can I use raised garden beds on my roof or in my apartment?
Should I grow herbs in my kitchen or in a raised garden?
Is rosemary good for raised herb gardens?
Can I place raised herb gardens around my deck?
What herbs are not good for raised herb gardens?
Will raised garden beds help me grow more veggies in the South?
What vegetables don't grow well in raised beds?
What raised bed design is best for vegetables?
What flowers complement vegetable gardens?
Do succulents do well in raised beds?
How do I design for small-seeded crops?
What types of landscape edging boundaries should I use?
How do I define the area for my raised garden?
How much soil do I need for a triangular garden?
I have soft soil, will metal edging work?
Can I plan a raised garden around my fish pond?
If I'm planting cauliflower, how large a garden do I need?
Should I use trestle ties for my landscape edging?
Is plastic edging with spikes good for flowers?
How do I plan a rooftop garden?
Do I need to worry about soil compaction in a raised bed garden?
Should I use sand in my raised bed soil preparation?
Can I start plants in pots to have them ready for raised bed planting?
Can I plant deep rooting vegetables with shallow rooted crops?
How do I keep vertical gardens from overshadowing my bed?
Can I plant just any kind of plants in interplanting?
How do I keep my soil from eroding?
Do I need to refresh my soil amenders every time I plant?
What soil preparation amenders shouldn't I use?
When I'm doing succession planting, how do I mulch?
How do I water my raised bed garden?
How do I prevent too much acidity in my raised bed?
Should I get my soil tested periodically?
Should I use plastic mulch to maintain my raised bed?
Should I plant cover plants to maintain my garden?
Should I use cover cloth to protect raised beds?
How do I maintain raised beds in auto tires?
How do I protect raised beds against city pollution?
Do I need a tiller to maintain my raised bed?
Should I buy a self-watering raised garden bed?
Can I use a prefab raised garden kit for a terrace garden?
Is it difficult to garden on a slope?
What can I plant in my terraced garden?
What shouldn't I do when gardening on a slope?
What should I do if I can't build a terraced garden?
How high should my elevated garden beds be?
What are the basics of constructing a terraced garden?
How do I prepare and maintain soil for gardening on a slope?
How do I make terraced gardens accessible?
What kinds of fruit trees are suited to terraced gardens?
Do I need a small container for container gardening?
Which vegetables can I plant in a container vegetable garden?
What types of pots should I use for container gardening?
How dfo I prevent plants from overgrowing in a container garden?
Do I need a big fancy decorative pot for my container garden?
Are there vegetables designed just for container gardening?
Do I use soil for my container garden or just compost?
How do I make sure my container gardens drain well ?
How often should I fertilize my vegetables?
I want to do a boat shape raised bed garden, can I?
Can I use untrated wood for my DIY raised bed?
What do I do if my raised garden bed abuts my house?
How do I use landscape ties in my DIY raised bed garden?
What tools do I need for a raised garden bed?
Am I stuck with the shape of a raised bed garden kit?
How do I protect my raised garden bed during construction?
Are raised bed garden kids good for school kids?
Do I build a trellis at the same time I build my raised bed?
Can I create a raised bed garden in the shape of a maze?
Does Rebecca have advice on stones for raised gardens?
Does Paul James have any tips for keeping raised beds safe?
How do I garden on a small scale?
Does Rebecca have any advice for creating a kids' garden?
Does Rebecca have any tips for gardening organic in raised beds?
Does Rebecca have any tips for working with mushroom compost?
Does Rebecca have tips on container gardening?
What soil mix does Paul James use for raised beds?
What shape garden does Paul James like?
I bought plants on sale and can't plant them, can Paul James help?
Will a raised bed garden eliminate weeds?
How do I move my containers around easily?
Can I use aluminum siding as landscape edging?