Michael, I have a similar bed in Los Gatos (not far from you). My native soil is a Silty Loam with lots of medium sized stones - commercially apricot trees used to be grown here. The only thing I have added was some builders sand and large pumice, both because I just happened to have it on hand. I have mostly planted it with pots of 2nd year bulbs started from seed. So far I have had good results with everything but a Tecophilaea which dwindled away. The more common Morea's like aristata do just fine in my soil with no amendments. I have used the 1/2" size hardware cloth for many years and it has not rusted out in any beds yet (10+ years). For this bed I also covered the top with metal fencing with large openings (4-6") to deter the cats. As a project some years ago I started casting raised bed panels from concrete or hypertufa with wire mesh inside. Each panel is about 13" tall, 2" thick and 48" long - so I use 6 to make a typical raised bed. Needless to say they will outlast the wood ones. Chad Schroter -----Original Message----- From: pbs [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Carolyn Craft via pbs Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2014 2:21 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [pbs] Best soil for a raised bed? Mike, I like to add 'Dry Stall' to the mix. It's pumice and can be bought in large bags at 'Sam's downtown feed store' on San Carlos blvd. It is cheaper than buying pumice at nurseries. In a message dated 7/13/2014 12:34:28 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, email@example.com writes: I'd like to ask for the wisdom of the list. I'm building a raised bed this summer to hold surplus bulbs. It'll be contained by pressure treated lumber, about seven inches (18 cm) deep, 3' wide (1 m) and 25' long (8 m). It will have hardware cloth on the bottom, and will sit over native soil that has been solarized. Since I'll be using it for surplus bulbs, I don't want to take the time and expense to do the pots-in-plunge media thing that many folks on the list use in beds. Instead, I'll just plant the bulbs directly into the bed, allowing them to mix gloriously over time. (Well, I hope it'll be glorious.) My question to the list is, what sort of soil do you recommend that I use in the bed? The same as my potting medium, or something else? The problem with my usual potting mix is that it breaks down in a few years, and I want this bed to last. The bulbs in the bed will be Moraeas, Glads, and a few other miscellaneous winter-growing things from South Africa and California. Any advice on the soil (or anything else)? Thanks, Mike San Jose, CA (zone 9, min temp 20F / -6C) _______________________________________________ pbs mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/ ________________________________ PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only for the use of the designated recipient(s) named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this message in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender by telephone or e-mail (as shown above) immediately and destroy any and all copies of this message in your possession (whether hard copies or electronically stored copies).