Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow...

It doesns't :o( I hope this picture comes through (if not I'll add it later).

This is my clay this year. Oh sure, it looks sort of dark and like it has potential, but it's all fake.

Those clods you see right there with the tiller -- they are larger than gravel but smaller than a serious "rock". My entire garden space, some 50x60 area, looks like that. It's clay enough you can't break them up past this stage...and hard enough they won't allow planting anything :o(

This garden, over the past 2 weeks total so far, has been broken up with a breaking plow twice -- and he went every which way with it, lengthwise, widthwise, criss-cross...everything short of circles! After it dried out some again, he came back with the plow and did it again.

Then we disked. Same thing -- long ways, across, corner-to-corner, you name a direction and we disked it. It really looked like it has some great potential.

Now, I've been out there everyday since Thursday last week and this is the best I have still. It's insane. We have had 3 gardens here since moving. Last year without any tiller I didn't stand a chance of doing any breaking, so it sat alone. But we've had one before -- I just don't understand it.

I tried setting out some plants...the clods are hard and won't settle around them. Seriously, it's like trying to plant a tomato in my gravel driveway :o(

I'm going to find a place I can put at least a few of these plants in and the rest I'll give away. I have a lot of cukes, straight-neck squash, okra, bell and banana peppers ,d my heirloom tomatoes...all dying a slow death on the porch with no soil to go into. Even my onion sets are looking dry :o(

I'm ready to move. I'm tired of the heat and humidity. I'm tired of dead calm summers without a breeze up here. I'm tired of torrential rains that flood out everything on the property and can't flow off or sink in due to the clay barrier. I'm just plain whiney and tired.
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7 comments:

Dawn said...

Wow, if the soil in my garden looked like that I would cry too. I wish I could scoop up some of this Indiana soil and truck it down to you. I know how important the produce that we growi s to us. Would it be cost effective to have a load of top soil and sand dumped on it and plowed and disked in? Even just half of the space this year and the other half next year? Could you put is some raised beds maybe? We have 7 childen so I know it takes alot of space to feed your family. I will tell you that Indiana is a pretty cheap buy right now with the market the way that it is and the soil is wonderful!!! I will be praying for your garden.
Dawn

Debi said...

I know it would be a drive but my Co-Op sells either compost or topsoil by the bucket full(on a tractor). I could find out how much it is, but I am sure that you could find some somewhere around you.
But yeah I think that I'd move too. Just make sure when you get to the new place, that you check the soil before you buy the place. LOL!

molly said...

Add gypsum to the soil and water in well, it will break the clay down, then lots of compost or pea straw, it works everytime!

Sara said...

Have you considered doing a square foot garden(raised beds)?That's what we're doing, and we're just mixing our own soil according to Mel Bartholomew's website. It's doing wonderful!

Blessings,
sara

Anonymous said...

All the above is great advise.... I'd find as much compost, animal poo, lawn clippings... Anything orgainic that you can pile in... Add some gypsum and blood and bone and go over it with the tiller....

Then using all your old out of date seeds mix the lot together and plant out.... Let the plants grow until they cover the whole area and dig this through...

Wet thoroughly and cover with a generous layer of mulch, I use sugarcane mulch and let it sit for a couple of weeks until the green plants break down... This will depend on the warmth of your soil...

Till the whole lot through a heap of times and you'll have soil that will grow things for you...

You have a serious lacking of organic matter in your soil...

Chezza from Australia

Angie said...

That is why I like raised beds done the square foot method! We have lots of clay and stone at our farm. Compost has helped alot. In a couple of years you can have beautiful black garden soil. The raised beds also are great if you get lots of rain - they drain quicker. Then there you have the downside of raised beds if you have dry weather! Best of luck and don't give up!

Molly said...

Hey there, I just stumbled across your blog this evening. I hear you about the clay. Yuck we have the same problem. It took me 3 years of mulch, manure, sand, topsoil and tilling to get my gardens going. I almost gave up. This year they are finally producing. I'll be praying for you. That is so frustrating. God Bless, Molly

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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