They say to have a great garden you must have great soil. So following the suggestions of square foot gardeners I created my own soil from a recipe online. It called for equal parts compost, vermiculite and peat moss.
I purchased all the soil components at Lowes or Home Depot. Sold in cubic feet its easy to determine the required amounts of each. My beds are 8″ high so its height is 2/3 of a foot. My calculation for each bed is then, length x width x 2/3.
**Vermiculite can irritate your lungs when the dust is inhaled. You should either be very careful about not creating dust or wear a dust mask while mixing the soil.
Use a tarp to hold equal parts of mixture. Use the tarp to fold the contents over each other by lifting one side then the other. You can also use a hoe to help mix. Once you have the soil well mixed you can pick up the soil and empty it into the raised beds. You may want to wet the newly placed soil before adding more soil to ensure all soil is well watered.
After filling all four beds I decided next time I would buy a mix — this was the most labor intensive part of the whole raised bed project. And although a light fluffly mix, it may be a little too light for our Colorado dry summer heat. This mix drys out quickly. I will be adding a layer of mulch once the seeds produce seedlings.
The beds then got their signature square foot garden grid to help guide the planting. I used the stretchy green plant tape that can be easily removed when I need to prep the beds again.