trying something new with garden soil

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Pop_45, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Pop_45

    Pop_45 Monkey

    I live in central Texas. We have a lot of course sand and rocks. I've been told that having a raised bed was the only way to grow a garden.

    I'm going to try something different and wanted some feed back. What I plan on doing instead of making raised beds is to amend the soil right around the plant.

    The concoction I'm going to use is half topsoil, and half sphagnum peat moss.

    Has anybody tried this, and what results did you have?

    Mindgrinder likes this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Hey @Pop_45, How close to Austin are you?.... I have two daughters just outside that berg....
  3. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    This should work fine as long as you make the hole deep enough for the roots.
    It's not unlike what I'm doing with the clay here...kinda like just digging a "pot" into the ground. I'd also suggest 4-6 inches of "cover" such as wood chips or mulch on top of your 50/50 peat/soil base to retain water. Show us some pics when you get it all going!

  4. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    This might also be a good next step...

    How To Plant The Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!

    Understanding The Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!

    How To Build The Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System! (101)

    How to Hook up Multiple Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow Systems using only 1 Float!

    Making your own inexpensive potting mix

    Perlite at home depot online free shipping on $45.00 order

    Using A Walmart Shopping Bag as A Grow Bag On the Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!

    Self watering Rain gutter Facebook Page!

    Self Watering Rain Gutter Group Page!
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. Pop_45

    Pop_45 Monkey

    I'm in mason county
  6. Pop_45

    Pop_45 Monkey

    @Mindgrinder, thanks, good info there, might try some of his home brew potting soil.
  7. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

  8. Icefoot

    Icefoot Monkey+

    Pop, I also mix in composted cow manure and garden lime (the powdered stuff) along with topsoil and sphagnum peat moss. It seems to work well enough. I suppose the county extension office that puts out gardening guidelines would probably tell me to test the soil ph and blend various things into it to get it just right for the type of plants I want to grow. But I have yet to do that and the tomatoes are doing great along with the cucumbers. The bell pepper plants are a different story, though...

    I use a mix of 2x40lb bags (1 cu ft each) topsoil, 1/3 of a 50lb bag of composted cow manure, two double handfuls of lime, and 1/3 of a 2 cu ft bag of peat moss for my mix ratio.

    As Mindgrinder said, make sure you cover it with some sort of mulch to retain moisture. I hear most vegetable root systems only use the top 6-10" of soil. So keeping the top part of the bed moist is important. My father in law swears by black plastic sheeting, but I don't like the idea of the chemicals used to make it leaching into my food. I have been using unbleached organic brown craft paper and dig it in to compost after the growing season. But now I think about it, I'm not sure that doesn't have manufacturing chemicals either. So I just might start using pine bark, pine needles, or some other shredded tree product for mulch.

    I am a beginning gardener, btw, with only a couple of seasons under my belt and there are others here with more experience that may correct some of my advice. Not a problem. Life is a dance you learn as you go. And if you get upset about someone showing you new steps, you might as well use that grave plot and spare everyone the drama. :)
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  9. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Not sure about the top 6 to 10 inches of soil being used, unless they're also forgetting to say about how far in diameter the roots will spread out?

    I had some food grade quality jars, about .75 to 1 gallon size, that I tried using as planters for small (cherry & grape) tomato plants. Never could get very big plants out of them, because they got root bound too quickly, and wouldn't grow bigger. Just check out some of the hydroponics videos on Youtube, and you'll be amazed at how big the root bundles will get in a system like that (some folks even suggest trimming the roots, if they get out of hand).

    Pop, if you're going to try your hand at this, you might want to make certain that the soil around your plants is loose, then dig out a gallon's worth (maybe a cubic foot's worth?), and replace with your mixture.
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