Getting things underway in the new yard, the ground beneath the bed frames has been tilled, and the largest chunks of grass roots removed. Today we explore the benefits of using multiple material layers, instead of simply filling the beds with soil. The goal is to have beds that are well draining, easy to aerate, and most importantly, continually composting. The nutrients will not only last all year, but the leftover soil we used from the old house is full of worms and well established.

Peat runs about $4 per cubic foot, whereas garden or potting soil runs upwards of $12 per cubic foot. A bale of straw cost us $3.50. Manure was the most expensive part, and we used very little. topsoil runs $2.50 per cubic foot.

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