Author Topic: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden  (Read 6165 times)

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Offline Freejuice

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2012, 06:39:37 pm »
LOL I have the same clay soil here in SC after about two inches of top soil it's a red basketball court.....you bounce a basketball on this stuff you would here it "ping" just like on a gym floor.
Woofer,  I first broke my area up  then added leaves from the woods behind me....I tried to find leaves  a few layers down which were  beginning to blacken into compost.... now each year I keep adding stuff  from a compost barrel behind the house to that clay.... its finally starting to turn around.

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2012, 02:36:31 am »
Here is another trick I have used.
I went back into our woods to where there are a lot of leafy trees, where it is in constant shade and even on hot days feels cool and damp. I took a bunch of top soil from this area for a few of our raised flower bed, and any plants that are in pots.

I am guessing any place that is undisturbed and in leafy trees should do. if it has moss over it, it seems even better
You can just tell this stuff is good, its very black  and fluffy.
I avoid needles, they are (in my area) high in acids. This might work great for the rose bushes and a few types of garden veggies, but never to good for what I generally plant.

I am not sure if you have any friends around with forests, or if it even would resemble what I have here, but for those who may, its been a rather good trick for me.
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Offline kensue49

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2012, 08:26:26 pm »
Woof,
 Compost, sand and peat moss.
Then compost chicken and cow dung, No horse dung.
Or you could but 45- 2 cu. ft. bags of garden soil like my wife did.
Slow and cheap or fast and foolish, your choice.
Oh, if you can get sand and rabbit pills you will have very good soil.
Kenneth

Offline ghurd

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2012, 09:17:00 pm »
"Rabbit Pills"?  Meaning rabbit feed pellets?
It just compressed clover/alfalpha/something.  The moisture content is kind of high.
Feed store sell it buy the ton in winter, then sales just stop (when depends on the weather).
Spring means a feed store may have a ton or 2 of it going moldy, and they love to give it away instead of pay the dumpster company to take it.
Just a thought.

Pelletized hydrated lime works wonders too.
Rabbit feed and pelletized hydrated lime is the only thing that made grass think about growing in a 25x10' part of my yard.
G-

Offline kensue49

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2012, 08:57:28 pm »
Sorry ghurd,
 Rabbit $hit.
Very good fertilizer.
Kenneth

Offline Poorboy

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2012, 06:19:22 pm »
Glad I'm not the only one. I had to take a pick axe to some spots to break through the hard pan. This is a first time garden here and it was logged years ago so the clay is compacted by heavy equipment and it's been driven on since. Did an area 16'x40' by hand with the pick axe and fork spade. Quite a work out but I'm trying to repair 25 years worth of not living so well, so, no pain no gain as they say. I can't add a whole lot of leaves etc because the soil is already acid/low ph. One thing the loggers did do was make some clearings and when they did, they left lots of black top soil in piles which is what I've been using for raised beds. Even on those, I have to crack the hard pan otherwise they'd be pools when it rained.
Cow peas are good for breaking up hard pans/clay pans and add tons of nitrogen and organic matter. If you use sand, make sure it's COARSE sand otherwise you're making adobe.

Offline WooferHound

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2012, 08:31:24 pm »
So . . . I bought a PH meter and measured the soil in my veggie garden in a dozen places or so. I was wide-eyed to find the PH was reading between 4 and 6 and mainly around 5, this is much too Acid. Seems that I have been digging in so much organic material that it has pushed the PH level too low.

If I understand it right, I would dig in some Lime to help raise the PH up to a more usable number ?

My garden was growing very badly this year.
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Offline rossw

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2012, 08:33:19 pm »
If I understand it right, I would dig in some Lime to help raise the PH up to a more usable number ?

Yes, lime is an alkali and should help raise the pH of your soil.

Offline madlabs

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Re: Improving Soil in the Vegetable Garden
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2012, 09:27:46 pm »
I use oyster shell to raise pH, works good for me. My water is acidic and so I mix some in my compost/manure mix, as well as when establishing new beds and so on.

On the topic of gardening, my 55 gallon compost tea maker that I made is awesome! It's like organic crack for plants. Everything in my garden is going crazy.

Oh, and peat moss and tree leaves and wood shavings are usually acidic, so maybe avoid those for soil builder. Horse manure and compost work great for me.

Jonathan
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