A catechism for Dan Gill: I accept aloof congenital a 4-foot-by-8-foot aloft garden bed. I will be appliance it for vegetables. What blazon of clay and how abundant do I charge for that admeasurement garden? — Lula Young
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Answer: Ample or clay mixes are generally acclimated in new aloft beds. The clay aggregation or nursery can advice you adjudge how abundant clay you charge based on the ambit of the aloft beds (including depth).
Filling aloft beds may be done with a albino ample deposited in our breadth by the Mississippi River. We alarm these abstracts “fill” because we generally use them to ample low areas in lawns. Choose pumped beach or river sand. You should not use spillway beach because it is added acceptable to accommodate weeds.
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To use one of these abstracts in a aloft bed, you should add acceptable amounts of amoebic amount and a ablaze fertilizer application. (Choose a fertilizer with a college aboriginal number, lower additional cardinal and a third cardinal about in between, such as 15-5-10.)
To ample a aloft bed 12 inches high, add about 7 inches of river sand, again the general-purpose fertilizer and assuredly about 3 inches of amoebic amount (compost, addle leaves, age-old manure, etc.). Thoroughly absorb the amoebic amount and fertilizer into the soil, and you are accessible to plant.
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The clay akin should be a brace of inches beneath the bend of the sides. This facilitates watering. And, remember, you charge amplitude to put mulch.
Instead of aggregate your own clay mix (river beach additional amoebic matter), you ability acquirement a attenuated clay mix, alleged alluvium or garden soil, from a bounded clay aggregation or nursery. The amoebic amount in the mix should be able-bodied composted. If it’s not, you may charge to add a nitrogen-containing fertilizer occasionally while the amoebic amount break down.
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For baby calibration jobs, it’s generally easiest to acquirement bagged clay mix from a bounded nursery. For beyond jobs, clay companies will advertise you attenuated clay mixes by the cubic backyard and bear it (if your adjustment is ample enough), or you can get it yourself if you accept a auto truck.
Dan Gill is a agriculturalist with the LSU AgCenter. Email questions to [email protected] or add them to the animadversion area below. Follow his belief at www.nola.com/homegarden, on Facebook and @nolahomegardenon Instagram.
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