Asked on May 6, 2017

What is the best way to 'make soil' for gardening?



I live on top of about a foot or two of gravel on top of more or less 'solid' limestone.
I cannot afford to buy truckloads of soil to make a vegetable garden.
5 answers
  • G Yarnall
    on May 6, 2017

    You might be able to afford raised bed gardening. You can make the raised beds out of used lumber with instructions found online or have someone help you. Raised beds don't take as much top soil as if you were to plant in the ground especially if you have poor soil/stones to start with. If a friend has some quality earth in their yard you can dig up , ask to have some. Or go into the woods where permitted and dig up good soil. Ask friends to donate top soil as a gift to you even if your birthday is not until fall/winter. If needed add organic fertilizer to enhance quality of soil. Start small with your raised beds. Add more next year if you need to or like your gardening results.
  • 512181
    on May 6, 2017

    Look up lasagna gardening. There are tips for building on top of bad soil. Raised beds would work too. Also, you could try the bale of hay method of gardening. Info is on the net.
  • Mcc
    on May 6, 2017

    Compost your kitchen waste and add to the soil after well decomposed

  • Genie
    on May 7, 2017

    I would suggest a raised bed. If you're just planting vegetables, you don't need much depth. A woman I know just used T-stakes with hardware cloth (rabbit wire) and filled up to a depth of about 12" with horse stall cleanings. This consisted of horse manure mixed with wood shavings that were used as bedding. She then spread planting mix over the top and gently mixed in only a bit. The horse manure itself isn't a great planting medium, as it doesn't have the same values as steer manure; different animals, different digestive systems. If you look up boarding or rental stables and find any in your area, you will find that almost all of them will be happy for you to haul away some of this material for free. Just rent a pickup truck for a day and have some helpers with shovels!
  • Anna
    on May 7, 2017

    Find out if there is a dairy in your area. Dairy manure is the best because it is relatively weed-free. There might even be a composting company in your area.
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