What soil do you put in a raised garden bed?

Wondering what soil you should put in a raised garden bed? While your choice of soil may not seem important in comparison to other raised garden bed ideas (such as your choice of plants), it is a surprisingly vital factor with an impact on your entire garden. So, when looking at how to build a raised garden bed, it’s a good idea to bring soil to the top of your priority list.

But what should you put in a raised bed? Here are the natural solutions that the experts are using in their gardens.

What soil should you put in a raised garden bed?

Raised bed garden ideas with wood

(Image credit: Future / Colin Poole)

According to H&G’s garden expert Rachel Crow, it is best to avoid taking soil from your yard or regular garden bed because it is too dense for a raised bed or container. ‘For containers, I opt for purpose-made potting soil, such as this one from Amazon (opens in new tab)which is lightweight and better for your raised plot.’However, for a raised bed, experts recommend an ancient solution named hill culture – made from organic matter and natural materials.

Using the Hugelkultur method in your raised garden bed

Raised flower bed with shrubs above a gravel path with a wooden shed in the background

(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

Hugelkultur is an ancient method of gardening that involves creating layers to allow decomposition to take place below the soil. This provides nutrients to the plants growing above. Expert John.D Thomas from Backyard Garden Geek (opens in new tab) recommends using the method in your raised garden ideas – suggesting it is a simple and accessible solution that is entirely sustainable. But what does the process involve?

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