questionswhat is a good soil mixture for my garden?

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I am no expert (barely even an amateur), but AFAIK you will have to provide some additional information for anyone to be able to answer this. For example, I live in zone 8b, on a high desert mesa, which means high altitude, high temperatures, very arid climate, frequent wind and sand storms, infrequent rainfall and very strong sun. I live about halfway up the mountain, which means sandy soil on top and caliche below. I live on the eastern face of the mountain, which means lots of morning sun and little afternoon sun, as the sun sets behind the mountain and the mountain's shadow passes over me several hours before nightfall. So far the only thing I have really been successful in planting has been a pistache tree, which I selected because it is native to the mountains in Israel. I have some thriving volunteer plants which I owe to the local birds as well.

Get your zone here: http://www.garden.org/zipzone/

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Um it's a pretty small garden. I'm not trying to figure out how to terraform Mars.

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I have had great results using Foxfarm Ocean Forrest. It is pretty expensive but works great. It has worm castings, some sort of peat moss and lots of great, organic nutrients. But, it is likely prohibitively expensive to have shipped so if you don't have a local store that carries it, you may be out of luck. It is marketed as potting soil but I've used it in-ground.
http://foxfarmfertilizer.com/item/ocean-forest-potting-soil.html

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@dogbountyhunter1: I am just saying that if you are gardening in the ground (as opposed to container gardening), you'd need different soil builders in Phoenix than in Boston.

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We have a small raised garden bed and have had good success with using topsoil with some peat mixed in, some bagged compost, and just a little sand since our soil here is mostly clay. We will put in some ash from the charcoal grill and egg shells too. Everything (various tomatoes, pole beans, jalapenos, bell peppers, banana peppers, sweet potatoes, lettuce, green onions, watermelon, herbs, etc, etc, etc) has grown marvelously these last couple of years.

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Composting is wonderful to do and fantastic for your garden. Easy too !
Banana peels especially good. Adds potassium to your soil. My mother saves those separate. When they are all nasty black she grinds 'em up and feeds them to her roses. Works magic.

!t doesn't have to get super complicated. But what's already there does make a difference. We have a cooperative extension connected to Cornell and they will test your soil for you.There might be something like that near you ? Maybe not connected to Cornell , but some sort of agency. For example if your soil's ph is not right for growing veggies. That sort of thing.
So then you mix in stuff that makes it more acidic or alkaline. Soil testing is a wonderful tool.

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Composting is awesome but it would take to long to get ready if you were planning on planting this spring. Easiest thing is go to any home improvement store in your area. In the lawn and garden section you'll find different soil amendment products that are already geared for your area. You can get 2 cubic foot volume bags of miracle grow garden soil mix for about $7.00-$8.00 a bag. If your garden is pretty small, this will work the best for you.

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@btalarczyk: Well it may be too late for this spring to make compost to use now, it is always a good time to start. In fact heat from warmer weather months speeds up the composting process. You can also take advantage of any leftover leaves, etc that are lurking in your yard from last fall. They're a great addition to the composting barrel.

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it depends on what you are trying to grow- i live in alabama, i send soil samples to auburn. there is a kit i can pick up for free at the courthouse. all it is is a baggie and a cardboard box about 5 inches by 5 inches by 4 inches. it comes with instructions telling you how to get a few soil samples from different areas of your garden area, so they can get a good idea of the overall makeup. you can list each item you want to plant. not all soil is good for all things- tomatoes like acidic soil for example, but many other plants don't- the kit allows you to list which plants you want to grow, and you'll back results of what needs to be adjusted to be optimum for each plant. when i got my results back, it told me what to add for each item, the recommendation for pecan trees suggested to add a lot of lime, not so much for the tomatoes. this will also help you know which fertilizer combo to buy- hope this helps! http://home.howstuffworks.com/question181.htm

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if you do not live in alabama, i am sure your local city courthouse also has something similar, or if not, try a co-op or gardening store, there is also a place a few miles from my house that does this, sometimes for free.... the place i sent my soil samples to in auburn only cost about $5 or so.

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Google Mel's mix. Part compost, vermiculite, and moss. Supposed to be amazing to grow things in. I am using a variant of it with some soil added in.