Soil/humus from the Forst for raised garden beds????


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This year I'm doing a raised garden bed and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what to put into it for soil. I was going to get compost from my uncle as he's a landscaper and all the leftover "scrapes" from jobs he's done he piles up so he has a rather larger compost pile build up. The problem is he lives almost 2 hours away, over 2-3 mountain ranges, I feel like it wouldn't be cost effective to get the compost.

My girlfriend's family owns 200 acres of woods, only 30 minutes away and each time I go up in the woods I realize how much humus is built up along the trails, where we drive, the trails are about 3ft deeper than the forest around them so the leaves and material gather in the low spots of the trails and just sit there breaking down. Would this be good for a raised garden bed? I wouldn't just use it by itself but mix it with other stuff to make up the soil for the beds.

My concern is everywhere I reason about this I see do not do this becuase its not good for the eco-system, you'll kill the forest, you can't steal from what's not yours. well I wouldn't be digging straight from the forest floor but the material that gathers in the trials, its my girlfriend's family so its not stealing from public land. I don't see why this wouldn't be good for the garden, its basically compost but just done naturally.

any suggestions or comments would be great!
 
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I gather the forest floor humus every year and incorporate it into my garden. Been doing it for 20+ years and hasn't hurt the forest a bit. I think you will have to mix the humus with soil as it decomposes rather rapidly and also because it is lacking in sufficient NKP. All the humus is is a natural compost as you have stated and you cannot get it all unless you use a vacuum cleaner on the forest floor. Mix all you can get into your raised bed. If you don't have soil already in your bed just get a good quality bagged garden soil and mix it all together. Add a little organic fertilizer and off you go. Save some of the humus and make aerobic compost tea and really watch your plants take off.
 
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