5 Of The Best Soil For Raised Garden Beds – This Will Make Or Brake Your Raised Bed Garden!

Raised bed gardening has seen exceptional growth in these last few years. People are growing their favorite vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flower in raised beds worldwide. The primary reason for its success is that you can plant and grow anything in raised beds irrespective of the ground. Don't have a backyard with soil or grass? No problem, make a raised bed and plant your favorite fruits or herbs. It doesn't take up much space either, and you can make the raised beds suit your needs. Of course, only by using the best soil for raised garden beds will you ensure a ripe harvest.

A raised bed garden is easier to maintain, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities. You can make the garden bed according to your height and thus won't have to bend that much. You can also reach all the areas of it without having to stretch because they’re usually not very wide.

The main component of your raised bed garden is the soil. It will be the deciding factor in the growth and health of your plants and it will determine whether your raised bed garden is a success or not. There are wide varieties and types of soils in the market, which can make it tricky to pick the right one. We have made it easier for you and selected five of the best soil for raised garden beds.

Our Picks

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Name

Category

Where To Buy

Burpee Premium Potting Mix

Best Overall Soil For Raised Garden Beds

Espoma Organic Garden Soil

Best Nutrient-Rich Soil For Raised Garden Beds

All-Purpose Potting Soil By Proven Winners

Best Versatile Soil For Raised Garden Beds

Miracle-Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

Best Portable Soil For Raised Garden Beds

Espoma Organic Potting Mix

Best Fertilizer-Rich Soil For Raised Garden Beds

Burpee Premium Potting Mix – Best Soil For Raised Garden Beds Overall

Burpee has been in the planting market since 1881. They have been providing customers with seeds, soils, and various garden equipment for almost a century. They have something in their catalog for every garden, whether it is indoor or outdoor, big or small. You can get seeds for flowers, vegetables, and even food from Burpee. They also provide a comprehensive list of garden supplies that you may need, and the soil is one of them.

Burpee organic premium potting mix is one of the best soil mixes for raised bed gardens. It is available for purchase in an 8-quart packing. You can use this soil in your containers as well as raised beds. It is in the OMRI list, which means that the Burpee premium soil mix is a hundred percent organic product.

Features

The main feature of this soil mix is that it has been formulated with coconut coir, which is entirely organic, without any smell and pleasing to handle. The main advantage of the coir, though, is its water retention capabilities, which makes it an exceptional choice for a soil mix. Coconut coir can absorb ten times its weight in water, which ensures that the root of your plants always stays hydrated. What it signifies for you is that you won't have to water your raised bed garden more often, as the coir helps in maintaining the moisture between each watering. It helps in the fantastic growth of flowers, vegetables, and herbs.

The soil mix is rich in essential nutrients and releases them immediately for the plants. It then continues to slowly and steadily supply the food to it for up to three months. Moreover, it ensures that your plants get a healthy supply of nutrients, and they grow up healthy and last a long time. It also reduces your workload as it requires less maintenance of the raised bed garden.

One of the main issues that organic soil users face is that they can encounter bugs in them. What makes Burpee potting mix one of the best soil for raised garden beds is that it is entirely bug-free. It is a massive relief for those who have small indoor raised bed gardens. They won't have any trouble dealing with pesky bugs.

Burpee's premium organic potting mix is soft and lightweight. It is exemplary for both indoor and outdoor raised garden beds.


PROS


CONS

  • Contains coconut coir
  • OMRI listed
  • Bug-free
  • Lightweight
  • Due to high water retention, container, or raised beds might get waterlogged by rainfall

Espoma Organic Garden Soil - Best Nutrient-Rich

Espoma has been in the gardening business for around eighty years. They strive to produce the highest quality products for their customers. All of their products are made from solar energy in their state of the art facility. It helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which ensures a healthier environment. They have exceptional customer service and go out of their way to provide timely and personalized service to their customers. They offer soils, fertilizers, single ingredient plant food, and plant protection liquids, among other products.

The Espoma garden soil will work flawlessly for your outdoor raised garden beds. It will also work for your in-ground planting needs. Garden soils are usually just topsoil mixed with forestry products, such as shredded wood and pine bark wood. To use them in garden beds, you will have to add extra ingredients by purchasing them separately. The Espoma garden soil has already included those ingredients for you, such as peat moss, humus, and earthworm casting, which make it one of the best soil for raised garden beds.

Features

The highlight of this soil is that it is Myco-tone enhanced. Myco-tone is a proprietary blend of eleven different strains of mycorrhizae, which have been confirmed to increase root growth, increase water uptake, and lessen drought stress and transplant shock. It uses around thirty percent less water compared to other soils. It also enhances the structure of the soil, which helps in better growth of plants.

The soil also contains around 30 to 40 percent Canadian sphagnum peat moss. Peat moss is used as an amendment for the soil. It also helps in holding on to nutrients, so they don't drain away from the raised garden with water.

Furthermore, it has peat humus, which is acts as an excellent conditioner for the soil. It adds to the soil density and also helps in the absorption of heat and light. Peat humus also plays some role in water retention. Don't confuse humus with peat moss, both of them are different, but play a healthy role in plant growth. The Espoma garden soil has earthworm casting, as well, which helps the plants to grow faster and to get higher yields. All of these three ingredients are exceptional amendments that help in loosening heavy soil.

The poma organic garden soil is one of the best soil for raised garden beds. It is more suitable for your outdoor raised garden bed and will promote plant growth. It is excellent for vegetables and flowers.


PROS


CONS

  • Myco-tone
  • Real dirt - not mulch
  • Great for outdoor gardens
  • Organic
  • Expensive for some

The company was built in 1992 and has worked hard since then to provide excellent plants to gardeners. They do genetic research for plant selection and select the ones with the best structure. They have an extensive screening process to make sure that their plants are free from all the diseases. The business is committed to a healthy environment, and most of their products come in recycled packaging. They recycle a lot of materials and also buy recycled products. The best part is that their plants are a hundred percent recyclable, and become an organic matter for your soil.

The premium all-purpose potting soil by Proven Winners is a professional-grade soil mix. It is one of the best soil for raised bed gardens. This soil is perfect for all the outdoor raised gardens and will produce more vibrant and stronger flowers that will last much longer than average. It will also work for those who have indoor gardens, making it versatile and among the best soil for the raised bed garden.

Features

The soil mix comes with 50 to 60 percent Canadian sphagnum peat moss. It also has horticultural grade perlites, which are lightweight particles made up of microscopic spheres. They have a porous, broken surface that promotes plant growth. They are an excellent conditioner for the soil. It also comes with dolomite lime, which raises the pH of the soil to match the requirements of the plant. As for forestry products, they have used a processed softwood bark.

It is an excellent choice for outdoor garden beds as the premium soil mix comes with continuous release plant food. It contains all the essential nutrients that the plant requires for fast growth and a healthy life. Also, it is capable of feeding the plants for up to six months, which means that you won't have to worry about maintenance. It is also one of the reasons why this soil mix is among the best soil mixes for raised beds.

The soil mix for garden beds shouldn't be light or heavy. It needs a perfect balance, and the premium all-purpose potting soil by Proven Winners provides that. It is a medium-weight mix that provides excellent air porosity and drainage. Both of these are essential for vibrant and healthy flower growth. Thus, you can totally rely on this best soil for raised garden beds.

The premium potting soil mix also comes with a professional wetting agent. It helps with better water distribution so that all of the roots of your plant stay hydrated. It results in a longer-lasting garden bed.

Proven Winner's all-purpose premium potting soil mix is inexpensive, and it will work wonders for your raised garden beds, and that is why it is one of the best soil for the raised bed garden. It has all the ingredients and nutrients that encourage plant growth.


PROS


CONS

  • Inexpensive
  • Continuous release plant food
  • Professional wetting agent
  • Great customer support
  • May arrive clumped up (easy to break down)

Miracle-Gro is almost 150 years old. Orlando McLean Scott was the founder and started selling weed-free seed in 1868. Since then, the company has expanded and is now one of the leading producers and manufacturers of lawn and garden items. They maintain communication with gardeners to meet their needs and requirements. They have an exceptional research and development team that has over a hundred scientists, working to improve their products. Miracle-Gro also provides outstanding customer service and gives a six-month money-back guarantee on its soil products.


Features

The main feature of this best soil for raised bed garden is that it can grow up to three times in size when you add water in it. It helps in keeping the package size smaller, which can be easily carried around by people with disabilities. The Expand 'n Gro comes in 0.33 cubic feet packing, which can expand up to three times in size. All you have to do it add the mix into a large container, add water, and then leave it for around ten minutes.

Another great feature of this planting mix is that it can hold up to fifty percent more water than ordinary soil mixes. It indicates that you will have to water less, and yet the plants will stay hydrated. Also, it creates around ninety percent more air space in the soil, which is essential for the fast growth of the roots. It also means that the plant root will get more oxygen and will be able to absorb nutrients that will boost its growth.

The Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro contains compressed coir and fertilizer. It can feed the plants for six months and provide it with all the essential nutrients. It also results in low maintenance and care, which will reduce your workload, yet give remarkable results in terms of plant yield.

This concentrated planting mix is perfect for all types of gardening. You can use it for in-ground planting, for containers and your garden beds. It is appropriate and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, which makes it one of the best garden soil for raised beds. It is incredibly lightweight, and you can carry it easily to your desired location. You must make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging, though, as it expands in size.


PROS


CONS

  • Lightweight
  • Feeds the plant for six-months
  • Extremely portable
  • Cost-effective
  • May develop harmless mold

Espoma Organic Potting Mix – Best Fertilizer-Rich

Espoma is one of the leading manufacturers of varieties of soil mixes that are suitable for different gardens. We covered their organic garden soil above, and now we are going to take a look at their organic potting mix.

You can use Espoma organic potting mix for indoor containers and beds and outdoor gardening as well. Make sure if you buy it online that it has not been sitting in the warehouse for a long time, as it can develop fungus gnats in the mix. Espoma sells the mix in a package that can you can seal shut after use, but store it in a low moisture location.


Features

It has all the features of Espoma garden soil and some extra benefits. It comes with the proprietary blend of eleven different strains of mycorrhizae by Espoma. Additionally, it has peat moss and peat humus, but also comes with perlite in the potting mix. It helps in aerating the soil and also aids in water drainage. It comes with limestone as well, which helps in the adjustment of the pH level.

The Espoma organic potting mix includes feather meal and that makes it a best soil mix for raised beds. It is made by processing poultry feathers and aids in providing a constant and healthy supply of nitrogen to the plant. Nitrogen is essential for the plants as it helps in the process of photosynthesis.

The organic potting mix also has a kelp meal in the blend. It provides micro-nutrients to the plant. Apart from nitrogen, it also includes phosphorus and potassium. For this reason, the kelp meal is considered an all-rounder in terms of providing essential nutrients to plant.

Espoma has also added an alfalfa meal in the organic potting mix, which is prepared by fermenting alfalfa plants. It is vital in replenishing worn-out soils and also boosts plant growth. These qualities make alfalfa meal and outstanding soil amendment.

The potting mix also has yucca extract. It is an excellent wetting agent and helps the water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the roots of your plant. It results in your plant growing fast and healthy.

Espoma has made sure to include all the essential nutrients that will accelerate plant growth and make sure that it remains healthy. It has marvelous moisture retention, which means that your plant will stay well hydrated. Espoma organic potting mix also reduces drought stress.


PROS


CONS

  • Usable both indoors and outdoors
  • Excellent moisture retention
  • Usable both indoors and outdoors
  • Might be too fine for some plants

All You Need To Know Before Deciding On The Best Soil For Raised Garden Beds – A Buying Guide

Best Soil For Raised Garden Beds

There are some crucial factors that you must keep in mind when in the market for the best soil for raised garden beds. If you're still not sure which soil you should choose, then continue on reading. 

Type of Soil

You will see that there are bags labeled as topsoil, garden soil, potting mix, or raised bed garden mix. Topsoil is just dirt, and garden soil is topsoil mixed with forestry products such as wood. Potting mix is the mixture of the first two, and it has various soil amendments such as peat moss, humus, and perlite. Raised bed garden mix is similar to the potting mix, and only the weight of the soil might differ. Be sure to keep that in mind when looking for the best soil for raised bed garden.

You must be questioning which one to buy among all these variations. Only buy topsoil if you want to make your soil mix at home from scratch. When it comes to garden soil, some brands will only include the two items mentioned above, but some will have many soil amendments as well. If you are making a soil mix at home, you can purchase the one with only dirt and forestry products. If you are looking to use a soil mix straight away in your garden beds, then buy the one with amendments such as peat moss, humus, and perlite.

The potting mix is light and fluffy as compared to the dense garden soil. The potting mix also has better water drainage than the garden soil. Therefore, the potting mix is better for using in containers indoors or outdoors.

Raised bed garden soil mix is relatively new in the market compared to other soils. Usually, it is considered a market gimmick by the manufacturers to sell the soil mix at a higher price. Many garden soil and potting mix are perfect for raised garden beds and don't require any separate expensive mixes. The only point that gardeners point out is that the soil for the raised garden should not be too light nor too heavy. It should be medium weight, as it works best in them.

Nutrients

Various soil amendments provide essential nutrients to the plant and those nutrients are an important factor when shopping for the best garden soil for raised beds. The price of the soil mixes will differ based on the amendments and the nutrients that they will provide. It will affect the growth speed of the plant, the water retention, and the yield. Some of the primary nutrients that the plant needs are nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur.

Different amendments will provide different nutrients to the plant. For nitrogen, the soil mix will have a feather meal or alfalfa meal and wood ashes, dolomite lime, or a kelp meal for potassium. Similarly, for phosphorous, a soil mix may have a bonemeal rock phosphate.

The pH level of the soil

If you are growing vegetables and plants, it is also essential that you notice the pH level of the soil mix you are purchasing. It dramatically affects the quality of the soil, as it impacts plant growth, its ability to gather nutrients, and the soil structure itself. The pH level starts at 0 and goes up to 14. Reading of pH below seven are considered acidic and above are alkaline. Usually, most of the plants thrive at pH levels between six and seven, which gardeners refer to as slightly acidic. Some plants require pH levels of 4.5 to 5.5 to grow, and some have a high tolerance and can grow in either high acidic or high alkaline pH levels.

You will have to study the pH level of your desired plant and vegetable and make sure that you choose the best soil mix for raised beds that fits the pH level.

If you buy a lower level of pH soil mix, for example, you will have to add limestone to adjust it.

Final Words

Raised bed garden is a fantastic starting point for beginners. You can make them of any size that suits your environment. You can start small with 4' by 4', and once you get the gist of it, move on to larger raised garden beds. You can check out our guide on how to make a raised garden bed, as well. We have covered the essential components of a raised bed garden and listed the five best soil mix for raised beds. All you have to do is plan on what you will plant in them. You can go for flowers, plants, or grow your favorite vegetables or herbs in them.