Is it really necessary to refill?
The gardener should pour fresh compost material into the sagged raised bed in autumn so that the original level is reached again by spring. Some of them simply refill with fresh compost soil from the garden center or their own composter. In fact, however, this measure only makes sense for ergonomic reasons - in other words: for a comfortable working posture on the raised bed. However, refilling is not absolutely necessary for the planting and the plants themselves - nutrients are still abundant in the compressed filling.
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Refilling the raised bed - step-by-step instructions
If you want to refill your raised bed, you have two options. The easy one is to take ready-made compost and simply spread it as the top layer on the bed. However, the following method, which is carried out after clearing the bed in autumn, is more common:
- Use a rake to push aside the fine potting soil on the raised bed.
- Fill in compostable material as the underlying layer.
- Grass clippings, sod (turn it around!), Stable manure (especially horse manure) and coarse compost are particularly suitable.
- Spread the potting soil over it again and mulch the bed, for example with leaves.
The raised bed can rest until spring and then be replanted. So that it does not lose too much height over the vegetation period, you should mulch it regularly during the summer months - it will practically refill itself.
Alternative to refilling
Instead of refilling the raised bed every year, you can just let things take their course - and instead build the raised bed box in such a way that you can simply remove individual wooden slats starting from above if necessary. In this way you adjust the height of the raised bed to its fill level. The variant of simply placing two such raised bed boxes next to each other and using them alternately for planting and filling is particularly practical. One box is used as a composter for a year, while the other - filled one - is planted. In the following year, they finally switch.
Regardless of whether you refill the raised bed regularly or not: Every four to five years the contents have to be completely composted and you have to start over from scratch.