Soil troubles

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Riseandrun

New Member
Greetings gardening enthusiasts!
I decided last year I was going to try having a garden. It wasn’t the experience I was hoping for. Pathetic yields from everything I planted. The tomatoes were small, hardly any peppers, other than that I had a cucumber vine ( about the best yielding veggie in my garden) and a zucchini plant that wasn’t too bad until it got the ”white spots”. Everything was from plants from a nursery.
I covered the whole garden in black landscaping screen to keep weeds down, and retain water. It was very pervious to water.
This year so far : I did a soil quality test and my alkaline is so high its not even on my sheet ( environmental concepts 40 test). I then did the following tests from a post on this forum that I’d look for, but don’t I want to loose what I’ve type if I search... put garden soil in a jar almost to the top, add water, shake and after An hour it should settle to 40% sand, 40% ?, 20% ? ( I should have written down what of each). I didn’t because there doesn’t look to be any difference in the whole jar. When I turned the jar upside down I get a clog of what I would describe as black clay. There has to be some soil there because the rest of my yard is grass, right?
My other test was water retention. Dig a 12x12x12 hole, fill it with water. After it drains refill and keep track of how quick it drains. I’m less than 1 inch per hour.
I get about 6-8 hours of direct sun a day, I live in a suburban setting, and my neighbor has a HUGE overgrown Maple in his yard that shades my yard a good part of the day.
I’m leaning towards just having a container garden and work on my soil. Not exactly sure what to do...
Any advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Kevin
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hey Kevin.
Sounds like a bit of a no win situation.
You cannot fight the shade from the tree, which makes it is difficult to grow certain veggies like tomatoes, peppers... and the shade prevents the foliage from drying quickly enough to prevent various diseases, like powdery mildew on squash species.
Do you have any area/areas that gets more sun then others?
If so, you could think about building some raised beds?
It can be a challenge to change the ph of the soil....
 

Riseandrun

New Member
Appreciate the response Ron. I’m going to try potted plants and see if I can find some veggies to grow that are less sun dependent. Nothing to aggressive..I’m also going to pursue building a better soil. I poured out the jar I did my soil test in and I think the majority of it could be silt? I say that because I just had one layer of something and it all poured out...
I did get some veggies last year.. I’m going to stay away (garden wise) from them all except cucumbers..
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thing is that you should not give up!
Information is really important, so you need to learn about soil, and soil types, and the effect it has on growing vegetables:
Here's a some info I picked up off the net with the focus on soil ph:
 


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