Replacing your soil: Necessary or NO-cessary?

By Victoria Fuller

So you have taken a big step towards reaching your own personal sustainable gardening goals and you have purchased a Cedar Planters raised garden bed or planter box…yay! This is an exciting time filled with joy and optimism for your future personal oasis, however this is also a time filled with questions a-plenty surrounding certain aspects of your garden bed that you never even thought to dwell on in the past.

We are going to start answering as many of these questions that we receive from our clients in the form of blog posts! This way the customer has their question answered and hopefully we can inform some other people who maybe did not even realize that they had a similar query themselves!

To kick off this blog-question-answering fiesta we are going to start with one of the most frequent questions that we are asked: Do I have to replace the soil in my raised garden bed every year? The short answer to this is NO (yay! One less trip to the hardware store/garden centre to lug around several bags of soil!), however this does not mean that your raised garden bed is a “one and done” when it comes to soil. There are a few other factors to consider when it comes to your soil:

Soil naturally erodes over time (and not much time at that!)

When we think of erosion, the first thought usually goes to rocks, cliffs, and other monumental landmarks, but the reality is that erosion occurs constantly all around us and even in such seemingly insignificant places as our garden beds! When the thin topsoil in your garden bed erodes with wind and rain it can often lead to a depletion in nutrients as well as leaving the thicker more gravel-esque looking particles left which may not be the esthetic that you are aiming for with your garden bed!

Plants, vegetables, and herbs draw the nutrients out of the soil over time

In order for any botanicals to thrive and grow they draw nutrients from the soil that they are growing in, this is why having a nutrient-rich soil blend is so important in the first place! This also means however that after a season or two the likelihood of your soil needing to be replenished increases so that your future plants have an equally high chance of succeeding and thriving!

Compost is essential to help your raised bed thrive

Compost is another fantastic (and essential) ingredient in your raised garden bed that can help take your soil to the next level! You can make your own compost at home using a small compost bin and composting vegetable scraps, eggshells, used coffee grounds, teabags, and the list goes on and on! Composting is great for your soil as it helps to balance the soil density and thus helps your plants develop healthier roots!

So in conclusion, the overall answer is “No, you do not have to replace your soil every year, but it would be a very good idea to supplement your existing soil with some compost and a small amount of fresh soil to ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients that they need to thrive!”

We hope that you have found this blog post useful! Do you have a gardening or raised-garden bed related question? If so please feel free to send it over to info@cedarplanters.com and we will attempt to answer all of them in the coming weeks in the form of blog posts!


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