Creating soil

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Creating soil

Postby Modesty » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:47 am

Hi all,
I have two areas I would like to experiment with and create a good growing base.

One area is a mound of clay, some silty topsoil and lawn clippings. It grew spaghetti squash prolifically this year, I'd like to keep it as the designated pumpkin corner. I grew a green oats and pea mix on it as green manure, but the soil such as it is looks tired, and the grass clippings have not rotted down very well.

The other is a raised garden bed, on gypsumed and dug over clay. I'd like to create soil in this one. It is 1.2m square, and I just filled it with squash vines, a bag of fresh horse poo, pea straw. As it develops I am planning it to be a potato bed.

Any ideas appreciated, I know people here have good ideas on soil. We filled a raised bed with some soil from a garden centre but even after several years of poo, blood and bone etc the soil still isn't as good as I hoped, it does grow things pretty well however. Tends to dry out, still too silty I think. Hence the experiment to create a soil base.

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Re: Creating soil

Postby kitkat » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:38 pm

Modesty , if the plants were growing well in the designated areas you must be doing something right. I would just keep adding compost and manure to the pumpkin beds as you can never add to much for them or for rhubarb I find. For a potato bed what you have done is fine, but keep on adding whatever you like until it becomes a fine tilth. Potatoes will grow in just straw, so don't need much, but if you want good soil then compost and manure are the way to go. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes. it is the compost in the soil that holds the water well so keep on doing what you are doing and get that compost happening.

Remember to rotate your crops around some years to avoid diseases ,and don't grow tomatoes straight after potatoes as they are related and carry the same diseases.
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