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TopSoil vs compost and do I need topsoil??

 
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Heya, building some Hugelkultur beds. We do not want to use the soil in our yard bc not sure if it’s clean, so we are building raised beds with logs at base. So do I need to buy “top soil” ? Or can I use the free compost at my township to fill in all the cracks and to top it off with?
Thank you!!
 
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Mary Moon wrote:Heya, building some Hugelkultur beds. We do not want to use the soil in our yard bc not sure if it’s clean, so we are building raised beds with logs at base. So do I need to buy “top soil” ? Or can I use the free compost at my township to fill in all the cracks and to top it off with?
Thank you!!



Compost should work very well for it. I often plant in straight compost and I've never had an issue. It will also help offset the nitrogen deficiency you can get from the wood for the first couple years.
 
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I planted a hugel using the crappy clay soil as back fill. We added half a dozen wheelbarrows of fresh sifted compost. Our plants are doing great. We dug into the new soil a bit and it's amazing!!
 
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commerically bought 'topsoil' is often of dodgy quality, at least near me -- some places seem to use the term to mean 'fill dirt without rocks'.  good compost has every quality necessary. truthfully, with how much compost its recommended to add to a garden, I find it hard to believe it doesn't become almost straight compost over time.
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