raised bed "components?


Garden Master
Sep 4, 2009
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East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
Mitch, FIRST, put your location/zone/state is good enough, with your avatar. It doesn't give any any private information away if you put down, "West Coast, zone 6."
It really helps us to answer your questions.
Second, do you have any leaves to clean up. THEY will make one of best amendments to your soil, wood chips, not so much.
That is why articles say, "well rotted."
Making your own compost for next year is a good idea.
THIS year you can add grass clippings bc they will break down pretty fast.
You mix, mix, mix, mix and after a few years your soil is very rich.
Wood chips make good mulch for a flower bed, BUT they will steal nitrogen from the soil as they break down.
Pine needles will do the same thing, steal from the soil while they are breaking down.
Dunno WHY this happens, just THAT is happens.
Your town might have free mulch that might work well, if you have to pay for yard waste recycling.
You may have to buy those big, paper sacks to get your mulch, but you can put that down to suppress weeds, takes about 4 months to break down.
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Attractive To Bees
Oct 13, 2020
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NE Tennessee
I have in the past added mulched leaves (through the vacuum part of the leaf blower) directly to raised beds and let them overwinter and have the elements do a bit of the work for me. I've also had 'freedom parties' for my bin worms that I'll release at the end of the fall so they have time to burrow down.

Both of these have done wonders for the 'stuff' some companies call 'garden soil' that they sell in bags that I will on occasion use for filler when a raised bed compacts. Perhaps that will help with your soil for the tomatoes.