They say to have a great garden you must have great soil. So starting with suggestions of square foot gardeners I created my own soil. The original recipe called for equal parts compost, vermiculite and peat moss. This mixture turned out to be too light for Colorado heat and dried out too quickly.
**Note peat moss is often suggested but peat is a finite resource that destroys habitat when harvested.
A Colorado Square Foot Soil
2 parts compost
1 part Sakti Agro Coconut Coir
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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 (.66) of a foot.
My calculation for each bed is then, length x width x 2/3.
4x4x.66 = 10.5 cubic feet of material per bed.
Use a tarp to hold equal parts of mixture.
Fold the contents over each other by lifting one side of the tarp 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 and watering I was ready to lay down seed and plant.
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. Next year you only need to add more compost to prep the bed.
Once seedlings emerged a layer of mulch was added over the drip hoses to keep soil moist.
To learn more about planning for your own square foot garden, see: