Making Compost Between Your Raised Beds


Composting under mulched paths

With our raised beds and limited space, composting was a concern. You by now probably noticed the small tumble type composter we have. It works great but it is small.

We’ve been mulching the bed paths and around the edges. The first year we used a hardwood mulch. We liked the look and the likely longer lasting factor.

Then we thought about using the bed paths for composting.

Last fall I collected a number of bags of leaves. In the spring we pulled back all the mulch in the pathways between the raised beds and spread two bags of leaves in each path. Then we pushed the mulch back over the leaves. At the same time we had a load of mulch delivered and we added a healthy layer over each path. We changed to a pine bark mulch. This will break down quicker than the hardwood mulch. The leaves and lower level of mulch will become a great deal or organic matter- right under the area we walk on.

It is now September and we can see the value of this method. We have a bed we made from excess bricks that is to be an herb bed. We recently increased the size and needed to fill up the added space. We raked off the top layer of mulch in the path beside this bed and then shoveled a nice amount of organic matter right into the space.


Shoveling composted material


Mulch pulled back to expose Composted Materials

This helped an immediate need but the long term plan for this source of nice organic matter is to put it right over the beds to top off and give them a renewal that will be a constant soil improvement.




Now I am well aware this is not the greatest composting method. This is only an example of what can be done on limited space. So don’t limit yourself-what else besides leaves will you add before covering your path with mulch?


Bed filled with organic matter


1 Comment

  1. Al (Post author)

    Feel free to e-mail me-


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