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Favorite easy ways to make garden beds? Here's mine using mulch and potatoes!

 
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I am interested in the best way to make a garden bed that can be directly planted into. I made 5 Hugelkultur beds in January and I planted into them at the beginning of March but I think they needed more time to ripen. The plants seem to be having trouble getting nutrients and growing roots.
But more importantly I got some soil and want to make a garden bed that I can plant into for this summers growing season. We live on a property that is primarily sand under a pine forest. Do I need to put some type of liner down?
We have chickens and a lot of wood material and dried leaves. If I do a lasagna style bed could I plant directly into it?
 
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What are you wanting to plant? That matters, because carrots, for example, need deeper soil than beans. You can build a garden over sand, no need to create any liner. Basically you need to look at the root structure of each type of plant to see what it needs for depth and breadth of growing area, then add 20% to that. For lasagna gardening, if you have even 3” of soil on top there’s quite a few things you can grow while the substructure is composting. Realize that hugelkultur is not so much a type of garden as it is a way to make soil. So the first couple years you can grow some things, but overall it a soil building process early on. As you likely know, chicken manure is ‘hot’, meaning high nitrogen, so the wood chips and leaves are a perfect way to balance that out, but still not something you can plant directly into. However, it makes an awesome compost mulch to add on top of the soil once your plants are up and growing well.
I’m sure others will chime in with more ideas for you! I know how frustrating it is to want to get growing and not have the right setup yet! I’ve learned to just ‘do what I can do’ and keep doing it.
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