Question Soil Improvement questions.

Henry

Member
May 21, 2020
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Oregon, USA
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
The backyard is in terrible shape the soil is like concrete and very stiff. I tried digging a pit to bury some leaves and other such yard waste, and while it did improve that spot still has clumps of the soil. So how would I go about making the soil acceptable enough to lhave veggies grow?
 

AndrewB

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Apr 2, 2018
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Albury, NSW
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Temperate (all seasons)
You could till in some compost to help things along, but really, it will take mulch & time. You need to create a layer on top of what you currently have that will hold moisture & support the critters that create soil.

Planting root crops like Daikon radish will help to break it up & let the water penetrate.
 

DivingTemptress

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Feb 7, 2020
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Nassau Bay, Texas USA
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Hi Henry,
The key to successful gardening is feeding the soil. Good soil feeds the plants, then the plants feed you.

Before I started gardening, I went to the library and checked out every book I could find on organic gardening and read some multiple times.
Having a plan is essential, so I identified how sunlight moved across the yard season by season. I have chosen to grow mostly perennials, so that I do the work once and the plants produce year after year. I also grow things that are hard to find in stores or so expensive that I usually won't spend that much.

In my opinion, fruit trees are the anchors of my garden. They are my most expensive investments so I buy the most mature trees I can afford, so I can begin enjoying fruit sooner.

Also make sure you are growing your favorite foods, otherwise what is the point ...

I suggest you start growing in containers and/or raised beds while you begin to prepare your soil. Gather all the leaves you can find. get coffee grounds from Starbucks, egg shells from bakeries, veggies and fruits that grocery stores are throwing away.
and build compost piles at least 4 x 4 x 4 in various spots that you want your permanent beds to be.

Grow green manures like pigeon peas, clover, buckwheat, comfrey.

You should get your soil analyzed so you know what you are dealing with. I also suggest you buy or make bio char, buy gypsum and other soil amendments like:
coco coir, rock dust such as azomite, worm castings and vermiculite. Try to find a local compost company, use an organic fertilizer like microlife,

Almost forgot, once you are growing, you will need mulch to suppress weeds. And without an automated irrigation system, you will be chained to a watering hose for endless hours, so with all your plans in place, you can begin the work of your garden installation.

My garden started with 1 raised bed ... start small !

I now have over 40 fruit trees, bushes and vines as well as veggies. You can do as much or as little as you choose and everyday you will find something new that is growing that will bring you joy.

Happy gardening !
P J, the Dirt Diva
 
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