August 31, 2007, Newsletter Issue #79: Soils and Slopes

Tip of the Week

You may not be dirt poor, but your dirt is poor or rocky. The beauty of raised gardens and elevated gardens is that you can use any kind of soil. There are just a few tips for making your dirt as rich as you wish you were: Soil on an elevated slope drains even more quickly than in raised gardens. While a raised bed may need composting every few months, a terraced garden on a slope will probably need composting every week. If you build on clay soils and have sandy or granular soil strata on top, your soil can become wet and squishy quickly. When you're deciding how to build a terraced garden, decide whether it will need drainage pipes in retaining walls or elevated garden timber frames. Remember how you felt when you moved on up? Took some adjustment, didn't it? Your new soil in your terraced garden designs needs time to adjust--especially if you've moved the soil. Although you don't want too much soil compaction, with a terraced garden, the soil should settle for a few weeks or even months. Some gardening experts recommend planting annuals the first year. Plant lavender in sunny areas where the soil can dry out too easily. You're not nouveau riche, but you're comfortable--and finally, so are your elevated gardens.

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