BYC gardening thread!!

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Mr MKK FARMS, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. No

    8 vote(s)
    1.7%
  2. Yes

    459 vote(s)
    96.0%
  3. Have in the past

    11 vote(s)
    2.3%
  1. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    Mulch, mulch mulch mulch. I have heavy clay and with mulch and a bit of luck everything does well. Mulching allows the plants and microbes to break up the clay. Also a few products exist to aid the break down, natural additives.... I can't remember the product name, but I tried it out this year and it does the trick. $10 for a bag that does 1000 sqft.
     
  2. jerryse

    jerryse Overrun With Chickens

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    Add gypsum to the soil . It allows clay to crumble . You can find it in garden stores . It may be labeled soil soft or soften soil . Continue to add organic matter .
     
  3. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    That's the stuff
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Depends on your climate, raised beds and containers are more difficult in my area in summer heat and droughts because they dry out too fast. The hardest in a veggie garden is the first year or so…after that with adding soil improvements then a light tiller is adequate.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    X3. Gypsum will help, but it won't be a cure all. Add as much organic material as you can get your hands on, then go scavenging for more. If you are itching to get some good gardening going, start with a lasagna garden, then work on expanding the rest of your garden area. You can also do green manure (or cover crops) to help break up that clay. Look for crops which have a deep root system, will winter kill and which will add a lot of green matter to the ground. Some cover crops which will give you extra benefit include regular peas, green beans, you might try planting a block of bird seed. Buckwheat is an old stand by. You can get 3 crops in during the typical summer, then follow it with a stand of winter rye which can be tilled in in the spring. Or you can use annual rye grass towards the end of the summer. It will winter kill, then you can just roll the carpet of dead grass back to prepare and plant your soil. I recommend a minimalist approach regarding tilling when it comes to clay. In the long run, tilling is counterproductive b/c it produces a heavy hard pan: The tines of the tiller slap those clay particles and work them into an impenetrable layer of hard clay that won't allow roots or water to penetrate. In a nut shell: keep that soil covered at all times year round with a growing crop, a cover crop, or a deep mulch (minimum of 6").
     
  6. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    I think I'm gonna put my younger flocking into the greenhouse for couple days and see if they can get it cleaned up for me. They can eat all the stuff that's still alive and turn the soil over and fertilize as they go :)
     
  7. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    We have alot of powdery clay like soil around here too. We added a couple front end loader fulls of black dirt to the top and then through the last few years I've been adding compost and the last 3 years or so chicken manure.
     
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Macon,GA
    What is powdery clay? In Georgia, our clay is red clay…hard like cement, almost undiggable. Sorry, don't get out much from the south.
     
  9. dan26552

    dan26552 Flock Master

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    Same hard red clay here in Alabama but in my garden you have to dig through three feet of dirt to get to it
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  10. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I don't know if it's the type of clay or a component of it. But when dry it will crumble and on the roads creates a fine gray dust. There is no organic element to it and it needs to have compost added to it.
     

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