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Garden issues...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is my first garden here at y new place. The ground I have is clay. I've been able to get my plants to flower & grow some vegetables.

But, what I'm getting is very small & my plants are not showing any growth.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 10

Pictures always help.....

 

Organic matter added to the clay will help...  Winter cover crop like rye or oats will help break up the clay..   be sure to till it in, in the spring, as green manure....

post #3 of 10

I'm in a similar situation, having moved to here last August. I dug a rain garden basin to get water away from the house and the soil there is awful, clay and gravel exactly like you'd see in compacted roadbed fill. The rate of "infiltration" (soaking in) is extremely slow.

 

This neighborhood was developed around 1955. Someone told me the practice  back then (and maybe now) was to first scrape off the topsoil and sell it. If I go about 2 miles west of here I'm in farmland and the soil is BLACK like a prairie.

 

I hired a tiller to cut a new 20X15 garden bed and mix in manure and compost. That garden is a riot of vegetables, from potatoes to peas to peppers to popcorn. I want Linda's grandson to see onions and potatoes coming out of the soil.

 

BTW ordinary popcorn from the grocery shelf can be viable. I planted two rows before the squirrels got wise and raided it. So it is that I have the lone corn plant growing among the peppers.

 

post #4 of 10

Adding gypsum to soil will help break down clay.  It comes in a granular form, and you should be able to find it at a garden center.

post #5 of 10

What ever you do, do not add sand....   sand mixed with clay makes cement....

post #6 of 10

Some veggies like lettuce, chard, snap bean are good in clay. Try planting them. Also planting in clay soil is a bit complex. The best time to dig or till is during autumn. Clay will be at the right moisture level for handling.

post #7 of 10
I know this is late, but add amendments, especially if you compost. Have you considered raising the beds? I started doing this with large pine logs(at least 1 foot in diameter and 4ft in length) and now wooden boards at my new home. Not only can you adjust the soil, but weeding becomes easier, you don't have to bend over as far, and the soil doesn't become packed where you walk and then trying to till it later. I grew up on a farm where my father had a traditional layout for his garden, and raised beds for me have solved many of the annoying upkeep issues of gardening. Good luck next season!
post #8 of 10
Second on the gypsum and try to get as much organic material as you can incorporated into the soil. Mulch leaves with your lawnmower, kitchen scraps, shredded pepper, grass clippings. Till or turn in then cover with more mulched leaves or a cover crop. From experience its going to take more than 1 season but its a formidable start. Repeat with amendments in the early spring as soon as you can. Good luck.
post #9 of 10

Thou sleeping turds, whom Autumn's shovel finds:

Awake! And roll into the garden beds.

Fine products of my horses' warm behinds,

In half a year you'll feed the flower heads.

Through winter's cold in crystals you will wait,

for Spring's young sun to warm the soil again;

Your envious siblings stay within the gate

to be no more than more mud in the pen.

But you shall know the sunlight and the rain,

the shovel's blade, the probing of the worm;

the very microbes from your help will gain,

and through you will the Summer see her term.

 

Thus I submit you to the tiller's blade;

a year from now, we'll know what we have made.

post #10 of 10

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