Understanding Bagged Garden Soils & Filling Raised Beds: What's in the Bags & Making Your Own Mix

Understanding Bagged Garden Soils & Filling Raised Beds: What's in the Bags & Making Your Own Mix

There are so many bagged garden soils and manures. It is confusing. I go over what they are and how you would use them to fill your raised bed. We aren’t talking fertilizer today… just filling the beds. I also go over my basic DIY recipe to cheaply fill beds and make container mix.

Please Help Support My Channel: The Rusted Garden Homestead – Thanks!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed & Garden Shop: https://www.therustedgarden.com/ – Seeds, Starting Supplies, Neem Oil, Peppermint & Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate & More.

I now have an Amazon Influencer’s Storefront. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It is free to use.

Just use my… The Rusted Garden Influencer’s Storefront link at https://www.amazon.com/shop/garypilarchiktherustedgarden anytime you shop.

I put the products I use, in videos, there and have gardening products set up by categories. Here are the direct links by description.

Great Gifts for Gardeners in Your Life

Products in My 2020 YouTube Videos

Seed Starting Supplies and Grow-Light Stations

Containers, Pots and Small Greenhouses

Better Greenhouses, Shade Cloth, Tunnels & Cold Frames

Fertilizers & Amendments: Indoor and Outdoor Gardening

Disease and Pest Management

Garden Tools: The Rusted Garden

Gardening Books and Resources

Products I Use and Recommend. I have an affiliation with them:

VermisTerra Worm Castings: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on VermisTerra Products and save 10% at https://vermisterra.com/

GreenStalk Vertical Gardening: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on GreenStalk ‘Vertical Tier Systems’. Use this link and enter my code for the discount http://store.greenstalkgarden.com/?afmc=therustedgarden or this short link http://lddy.no/4eal

Garden Shelving Systems: Use the Discount Code THERUSTEDGARDEN on Shirley’s Simple Shelving and Raised Bed Products at http://www.shirleyssimpleshelving.com/

My Social Media Links:

Follow me on Instagram:

Visit My Original Blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden: https://therustedgarden.blogspot.com/

Contact Me at therustedgardenmerch@gmail.com for questions or if you are interested in collaborations, affiliations or advertising.


  1. Femke Zwart on August 5, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    I filled up my raised bed with a mixture of topsoil, compost , peat moss and lime, and my nitrogen is tied up, my plants get stunted and yellow in the raised bed. What would you do in that situation?

  2. DL86 on August 5, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Half the stuff at big box stores is wood chips most seeds can’t bust through that crap.

  3. Jessica O'Brien on August 5, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you! I just started my own compost bin at our house. Can you clarify when I should be using it? I thought you could add compost at any time to nourish the plants but I understand what you mean re: nitrogen. Were you just saying since you don’t have control over the bagged compost’s history you don’t know how much it has composted down…but with your own it’s different and fully composted?

  4. Lets Eat on August 5, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    I just repotted but only using potting soil . I now see i need to at peat moss . Should I repot ASAP and add it or what should I do

  5. Mr. Autumn on August 5, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Gary great video-extremely informative. I’m in zone 7 – philly and am doing a raised bed for the first time due to excessive rain last few years – veggies splitting
    You said peat moss holds moisture – will it hold too much-especially if we get a lot of rain again?

  6. K March on August 5, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    I definitely saved this video! Bagged dirt is expensive but I have nothing but red clay in my area so I have to buy it. Now I know how to do it a little cheaper.

  7. Wendy's Garden on August 5, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    I used to love Black Kow, but last year some people reported there’s that weed killer in it that survives undigested through the cow. (I forget the name of that herbicide, sorry.) I think Black Gumbo Southern Garden, Scott, had that problem (though it could have been with a different brand.) So nothing grew in these cases–everything withered. I think I’ll stick with mushroom compost if I need extra this year.

    I’m growing a straw crop this year to help expand my composting, but it still ain’t gonna be enough. It’s NEVER enough. : )

  8. Ami's Cooking on August 5, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    This video is very helpful 👍

  9. Nu Nu on August 5, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    To late i put black cow on top 😢😢😢 i messed up already🙆🙆

  10. Stacey Here We Grow Again on August 5, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Awesome video Gary! I’ve been waiting to see how you fill in the raised beds. Going to build ours at the new house this year, I’m growing almost all my vegetables and herbs in containers for now. Thank you so much for sharing! I love experimenting with different soils, there are so many great options to choose from. See you next time! Thanks again for your time and knowledge.

  11. Susan Himmaugh on August 5, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you

  12. Nellie Foley on August 5, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Very timely for me as I am adding two more raised beds to my garden right now. Thank you!!

  13. Stacy Taylor on August 5, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Love your videos! Thank you!!

  14. Abhay Bhatt on August 5, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    What I filled mine with was about 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 higher quality in-ground soil. Peat moss just adds biomass bulk and holds water, compost has nutrients, and I wanted the expensive stuff for the vermiculite and perlite, couldn’t find it in the stores sadly.

    Wouldn’t recommend getting the cheapest in-ground soil or topsoil, it’s literally all wood chips that haven’t been broken down. You’re right in the sense it’s better to just add your own soil than buy that crap.

  15. Victoria Cordovva on August 5, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Hello, this is a totally different subject. I just bought a set of 5000 lumen led hanging grow lights. My question is how much space should be between my seedlings and the light ? I don’t want to burn them! First time Gardner.

    I planted seeds yesterday- tomato’s, peppers, onions, squash, cantaloupe and some herbs. I’m not sure if each seed needs to be a different distance away from the light. Can you please help?

  16. Jackie Horsley on August 5, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    great information Gary thanks for clearing that up I well keep that In mind when I go to put more new raised beds In this year when It comes to filling your raised beds how do you know how much 50 percent Is

  17. Ajunetwin on August 5, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Gary, I tried gardening for the first time last year. I set up one raised bed 6×8 that I planted okra, hot peppers, onions and spinach by seed in April. I also did 2 containers for bell peppers and 3 containers for tomatoes 2 small containers for herb. The only thing that did well were the herbs. Everything thing else was not good. I didn’t do anything over the winter. Can I reuse the dirt I used last year or should I start over with new dirt.. I spend a lot of money on dirt last year. After seeing your video I am also realizing that I may be starting late. I also didn’t start seeds I was going to buy plants. Is it too late to get going?

  18. felicia albanese on August 5, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Good stuff! I’ve got some things growing mostly herbs.

  19. Jim19826301 on August 5, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I’m a Scotts manure and humus user! I’ve tried other but never did very good with them.

  20. A Slice of Heaven Homestead on August 5, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Last year I used your recipe for my grow pots… After a year of growing plants and being in the elements, it is still the softest and best growing soil I have ever gardened in! Thank you Gary 😁.

  21. Princess Cole on August 5, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    I wait until Home Depot has their spring black Friday sale in April. Vigoro potting mix starts at $3/bag.

  22. Desmond Jordan on August 5, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Gary, I have not watched your videos for a while, as like every gardener I learned a bit very year from videos and trial and error. However I moved homes last year and I am starting out in a new garden setting up raised beds etc. Its great to come back to your videos because I know you will fill in any knowledge gaps and give me a few fundamental reminders. Thats exactly what happened. Thank you. You are consistently and comprehensively one of the best gardening coaches on YouTube. Take a bow, you deserve again and again. Greetings from Canada.

  23. Diem Tran on August 5, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks Garden soil at Home Depot is on sale now. 5 for 10

  24. Russell T on August 5, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    I’m making a 4ft by 4ft raised bed out of cynder blocks so I go 50% peat moss 50% earth how much lime and fertilizer should I put

  25. Raigey raigs on August 5, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the video! I’m a first time raised bed goer. I am starting in late April (I won’t be around before then to care for one of started earlier). Should I get the already broken down manure or compost and put it on the bottom and then my soil mix? I’m having the hardest time learning what is an Easy soil blend that’s not a fortune.

  26. Rachel Ward on August 5, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    I have used Black Kow and LeafGro and I like both of them

  27. Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) on August 5, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    I now have an Amazon Influencer’s Storefront. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It is free to use and anything you buy may be eligible. Just use my… The Rusted Garden link at https://www.amazon.com/shop/garypilarchiktherustedgarden anytime you shop. I have garden items broken into categories.

  28. Brooke Haltermann on August 5, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Great video! I need to get moving on my two additional beds I was planning for this summer!
    Do you have any videos on ammending /refilling last year’s beds? I was going to mix in some Black Kow but now I’m wondering if that isn’t the best idea!

  29. OBXSunset on August 5, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you! In the process of making beds at our new house and was looking to find info on soils to use. Big help!!!

  30. Dandelion Haven on August 5, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Learned a lot, thanks. I have access to aged horse manure. How much of that would you recommend for the smaller bed in your video?

  31. Lucy Young on August 5, 2021 at 10:17 pm


  32. Nikki on August 5, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    We buy bags of mulch and compost and let it sit for a year in the bags. The next Spring we have it ready. Black cow ruined my earth bed, it was not broke down. I couldn’t even get kale to grow. I had to do all beans and sunflowers in that bed 🤷🏻‍♀️

  33. Highridge Graphics on August 5, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Gary, what wood do you use for raised beds? Looking for something that does not leach chemicals into the soil

  34. Judilyn Fitz on August 5, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Informative video 👍 thank you very much.

  35. Cynthia Fisher on August 5, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Do you have issues with pill bugs and earwigs in your raised beds? They seem to hide next to the wood and decimate everything. I’m taking out my wooden beds and just using mounds of dirt.

  36. Wanda Wilson on August 5, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    I have a question.
    What could it be I’m seeing walking around in my pots..in the house..started a few thing early..they look like little flys.ive only seen a couple. Walking around in soil.

  37. Nadia Heilmann on August 5, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I use 50% Peat Moss, 25% Perlite or Vermiculite, and 25% Top Soil or Garden Soil.

  38. فنون الزراعه الحديثه on August 5, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Hi,gary I really excited to star gardening in this way of raising beds I loved the way of you relying on your self in constructing the beds you know always making everything by yourself you will be pleased your way of creativity is awesome you know I am 13 yrs old but I will start making these beds my self but I was thinking for making my own mix tell me if its good or bad my mix contains :
    Ratio 2 earth soil to 1 sand to quarter compost to quarter peatmoss
    I was wondering if it would work tell my your opinion I think It will not work

  39. Becky Cory on August 5, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    I use the yellow bag for my starts. Works great for me.

  40. Ansel Loves to Grow Organically on August 5, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Good info, thanks

  41. kevin neel on August 5, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    I use peat moss, potting soil, and worm castings from my worm bins and mix together for my raised beds. This is my first year using this and my plants are growing like crazy.

  42. Youthajock Saengsiri on August 5, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Good video. Thank you for the helpful information. I will put this into use.

  43. nc0gneto on August 5, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Gary, what about mushroom compost made from spent mushroom growing blocks? Is this ok/good to use, and at what ratio? I have a local mushroom grower that sells this stuff relatively cheap,

  44. Joyce Owens on August 5, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Love Vigoro potting mix in my fabric containers.I have had exceptional results.The Vigoro fertilizer with calcium works awesome as well.I have not had any blossom rot issues since I started using it.

  45. Justin Parker on August 5, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Can you use coco coir in place of peat moss? Any downsides to doing this, aside from cost?

  46. SSG on August 5, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Hello, Gary, and thank you for this excellent series. I do have a question for you. Last year there were a number of gardeners advising their audiences to avoid using peat moss, due to the negative environmental impact on a limited resource. As an alternative they recommended amendments like perlite. May I ask your take on this topic? Cheers, Ardith

  47. fakesthole on August 5, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Is that pressure treated wood?

  48. bowler8 on August 5, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    can’t you use just the finely shredded mulch to grow in, or would you mix?

  49. GenericName4ash on August 5, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Gary, HUGE thank you for this video. I spent 2 confused hours at Home Depot yesterday before finally pulling up your video, listening to it and then walking through the aisles again to make my decisions. I am curious about one thing though – some folks use vermiculite as well. Is there is a reason you have not mentioned it in your video? Once again, many thanks for your videos!

  50. Zeinab Yassine on August 5, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Getting ready to fill up my raised bed great video thank you🙏🏻

Leave a Comment