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Learn the Difference Between Garden Soil and Raised Bed Soil

Garden Soil and Raised Bed Soil are both essential applications that gardeners can use to establish the ideal growing environment for their plants. Both organic soils provide beneficial ingredients for a healthy garden full of nutritious fruits and vegetables as well as beautiful, colorful flowers. We will explain where to use both Garden Soil and Raised Bed Soil to get the most out of each.

Kellogg Garden Organics Raised Bed Soil

Benefits of Garden Soil

Garden Soil is specially cultivated to create an optimal environment for in-the-ground gardening. Enriched with well-decomposed compost and organic matter, bagged Garden Soil revitalizes native soil for the best plant growth.  Consider Garden Soil as an investment in the success and longevity of your in-ground garden bed. By amending your native soil with Garden Soil, you will reap the rewards of more substantial yields, better plant health, and even more efficient moisture retention through better soil structure.

Provides Beneficial Nutrients

Garden Soil will enrich your native soil with essential nutrients that can help establish robust root systems and assist native soils with vital nutrient retention. Garden soil is fortified with worm castings, and kelp meal, providing organic nutrients that will feed and nurture your plants. However, don’t get complacent. Organic soils are not like conventional soil which release chemicals into the soil to feed the plant through the growing season.  Organic gardens need nutrient replenishment through the growing season to produce those beautiful flowers and tasty edibles.

Reduces Compaction in Native Soil

Adding compost-rich garden soil improves the structure and quality of the native soil in your garden by reducing soil compaction. This improves air and moisture penetration into the soil and around plant root systems, as well as helping with proper drainage.

Improves Soil Composition

Even the most deficient soil can be revitalized with the addition of Garden Soil. It contains the right balance of soil that is well-draining and is neither too dense or too loose to help support moisture retention to reduce frequent watering. It also can improve the pH of your soil. The addition of Garden Soil is well worth your investment to add healthy components that enable plant roots to receive the oxygen efficiently and absorb nutrients needed to grow more vigorously.

The particile size of Garden Soil is too large for effective use as a stand-alone soil mix for raised bed gardens or containers. While it is nutrient-rich, moisture retention is reduced too much to support plant life adequetly in a raised bed.

soybean field grow in the morning under sunshine

Benefits of Raised Bed Soil

Raised Bed Soil provides the ideal soil recipe for raised bed gardening and has significant benefits to gardeners.  Raised Bed Soil is formulated to be used as a stand-alone soil mix in a raised bed that sits on the soil or is wholly enclosed in a container. Its use provides the perfect opportunity to establish the most favorable environment for your plants. It can be used for both raised beds and large container gardening.

Nutrient-Rich

Raised Bed Soil is the optimal choice for filling your raised garden beds, as it is bolstered with a hardy amount of organic nutrients such as poultry meal, kelp meal and worm castings that will help feed the soil your plants will grow in. Don’t get complacent though! All organic gardens, including raised bed gardens require additional organic fertilizer through the growing season. Edibles, many of which are grown in raised beds, are heavy feeders and need nutrient replenishment with an organic granular fertilizer every 5-6 weeks. And like potting mixes, supplementing with an organic liquid fertilizer like Fish & Kelp every 2-3 weeks will yield the best results.

Ideal pH

Organic Raised Bed Soil takes the guesswork out of determining the soil quality because it is already pH balanced to be between 5.8 and 7.5, which is optimal for a vegetable or flower garden.

Well-Draining Soil

Raised Bed Soil is like a balance between garden soil and potting mix. It has the exceptional drainage necessary for container and raised bed gardening. It assists gardeners in maintaining loose soil and provides adequate airflow for necessary oxygen and nutrient delivery to root systems.

Ready to Use

Since it is already formulated to be used right out of the bag, gardeners don’t have to contend with adding soil amendments to get a raised garden started. However, many gardeners use Raised Bed Soil as the base mix and add their own compost and other soil amendments to create their own “recipe!” That’s part of the fun with gardening!

Photo showing an organic community vegetable garden allotment with a series of small raised beds made from reclaimed railway sleepers. In this particular bed are a series of young runner bean plants, which are being trained up some wigwams made from bamboo canes are are pictured covered in red flowers.

To Add to Existing Soil

Ever wonder why the soil in your raised bed seems to “shrink” each season? Beneficial soil microbes consume the soil through the year which helps create plant-available nutrients your plants need to thrive. At the start of each season, spread a layer of Raised Bed Soil within 3-4 inches of the top of your raised bed. Then, mix it with the existing soil to a depth of four to six inches. Now is a good time to mix in that organic granular fertilizer!

Filling Containers and Raised Beds with Raised Bed Soil

Simply fill the raised bed with Raised Bed Soil to 3-4 inches below the top.

All Natural Raised Bed & Potting Mix

Kellogg Garden Organics

All Natural Raised Bed & Potting Mix

**Product not available in AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT. For a comparable product in these states click here.

To Use in Containers

  1. Cover the base of the pot or container with Raised Bed Soil and press down firmly.
  2. Following directions on the package, add an organic granular fertilizer.
  3. Loosen up the plant roots with your fingers and place the top of the root ball approximately two- inches from the rim of the container.
  4. Fill the remainder of the pot or container with Raised Bed Soil and press down firmly to secure the plant.
  5. Water in well, adding a liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.

To Use in Raised Beds

  1. Add the Raised Bed Soil to the raised bed.
  2. Following directions on the package, add an organic granular fertilizer to each hole where you are going to place a plant.
  3. Loosen up the plant roots and place the plant into the soil mix so that the root ball is slightly above ground level.
  4. Water in well, adding a liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.

Share The Garden Love


hand holding brown soil
raised bed

8 Comments

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  1. Enjoying the book! I live in southern Arizona, would especially like information on growing veggies here
    Thank you!
    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, we’re glad you’re enjoying the Gardening Guide! We love these 2 books about Arizona gardening.
      – Month-by-Month Gardening in the Deserts of Arizona, by Mary Irish
      – Arizona Master Gardener Manual, published by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.

      We hope this helps!

  2. HI, I just calculated how many bags of soil I need for my two raised garden beds and its 40 bags. I like your soil but that’s going to be a lot of money. Do you have coupons for bulk sale by any chance?
    thanks!
    -michael

    • Hi Michael, we don’t offer coupons in order to maintain the lowest cost and best value in the garden centers. Some garden centers offer discounts but we don’t know when or if that will happen but you can check with your local retailer. The top 6 – 12″ of soil is where the best soil is needed, you can layer your soil so you have the richest soil at the top. You can add in twigs, sticks, grass clippings, leaves, and inexpensive or native soil at the bottom and nutrient rich soil, compost, worm castings and mulch at the top. We have a blog post about it here https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/raised-beds/layering-soil-for-an-inexpensive-raised-garden-bed/

  3. We filled our one foot high raised bed with your raised bed potting mix. Then we planted a mixed collection of lettuce seeds. We also planted beet seeds, carrot seeds and turnip seeds. The only seeds that seemed to thrive were the lettuce seeds; the others either failed to grow or were quite slow and stunted-looking. A major disappointment: My wife harvested the lettuce and complained that it was all too bitter. We still have about an inch to go to get to the top of the bed. should we mix in a finer brand of potting mix? I watered every day but the raised bed potting soil seemed to get dry quickly.

    • Hi Gary, the raised bed potting mix has a larger particle size that is not optimal for seed starting. Seeds also need to be planted at the right depth, need to stay moist, and the temperature is important. To give seeds the best environment to get started most gardeners like to start seeds in a pot and then transplant the seedlings when they are nice and strong. If you want to start seeds in a raised bed using the raised bed soil it is best to layer some seed starter mix over your seeds. You can either dig a small hole fill it with the seed starter mix and add your seeds in or for just sprinkle the seed starter mix over the seeds. Your seedlings will be able to break through the seed starter mix and the roots will grow into the raised bed mix. This video will walk you through some seed starting techniques. https://youtu.be/5fhJZvcRY_U

      As your seedlings grow you also want to make sure you are adding nutrients back into the soil with an organic fertilizer. When transplanting we add a granular slow-release fertilizer in the hole before the plant, then every two weeks or so a liquid fertilizer.

      To retain moisture in the soil add mulch to the surface of the soil. https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/how-and-when-to-mulch-a-garden/

  4. I have five gardens on my property but one has terrible soil. I wanted to add raised garden soil to the planting holes as I plant perennials. Is it OK to do that? I wanted something I could plant in right away without having to add extra nutrients. I do have many bags of compost, composted manure, and Espoma Biotone on hand. Should I mix that in too? The plants are small in 3 inch containers (echinacea, bee balm, agastache, and daylilies). The soil is clay and for some reason this one garden hasn’t improved with amendments. It’s as if the soil is lifeless.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Gia, Raised Bed & Potting Mix is a great potting soil that is ready to use right out of the bag. We like to recommend mixing in a granular organic fertilizer when planting to extend the feeding time and again every 4-6 weeks after that to make sure your plants always have enough nutrients. If you would like to help out your native soil, we recommend Amend Garden Soil, https://www.kellogggarden.com/products/kellogg/amend-garden-soil-for-flowers-and-vegetables/ for breaking up hard clay soils. It contains rice hulls and gypsum that help break up clay and create pockets in the soil to allow greater penetration of water and air. We hope this helps, happy gardening!

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