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Raised bed and adding soil

Hello, (Moderators please move if in the wrong forum)

Really novice and silly question coming up. 

So the other year, I built some raised beds, filled with soil just under the top of the timber and waited for the magic. Now in year 2, the soil level has dropped, as I knew it would - prob a good inch or maybe 2 below the top of the timber.

Now my question is this. Do I and if so, how do I go about topping up the beds. As my dad always made me aware not to cover the stem or trunks, or  even leafs with soil, as this could cause rot. some of the plants have their leafs quite low and if I topped up the beds I would be covering, or at least having the leafs sit on the fresh soil. Also I have a lot of perennials that have not yet shown themselves so am conscious of adding too much soil and if that would make these plants find harder to grown and reappear. 



  • I have the same problem. Built some raised beds end of 2019 and am now just finishing topping them up for the second time. With my perennials I've either needed to rearrange them or divide them so they've been lifted however, the shrubs I've tried to build up the soil without going so far as to touch the stems. The trunks of my fruit trees are a bit more complicated and I ended up buying these to put around them so the soil didn't touch them. If you can't see any new shoots on the perennials I shouldn't worry about covering them up, they'll still find their way up. I moved a Baptisia that had shoots and I had to cover it over fully but they've still managed to find their way out 🙂
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070
    When you plant, you need to make sure the plants are planted high enough to start with. Around an in inch at most from the top of the beds. That helps to mitigate the problem. Not a silly question at all- we've all had the problem at some point if we have raised beds, and it can be a nuisance   :)
    Soil levels always need topping up in a raised bed, although if you use a good soil based mix, not one that is largely compost, that helps enormously, and is also better for plants, because the level won't drop so much. 
    There's always a bit of leeway with many plants, though, and an inch of soil over them will not always be a problem. Things like peonies will object more than hardy geraniums, for example, and bulbs won't mind at all.
    For any plants you're worried about, just leave a little space around the plant and top up in all the gaps.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    There are no silly questions! And no-one minds where you post, everyone looks at the 'most recent'.
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