Soil Types

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Hi again all.

As some of you know, I send out a podcast called The Self-Sufficient Gardener. In the latest episode I talked about the different soil types and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each. I'm just curious what everyone thinks about their soil and what they find grows well in each and what doesn't.

Thanks

Jason
www.theselfsufficientway.com
 

Dor

Active Member
Hello and welcome Jason to a great place if I haven't told you.

I started out with clay soil here in Texas. Every year since I began gardening I have added compost and I have started to see a difference.
 

tonya

New Member
Hi again all.

As some of you know, I send out a podcast called The Self-Sufficient Gardener. In the latest episode I talked about the different soil types and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each. I'm just curious what everyone thinks about their soil and what they find grows well in each and what doesn't.

Thanks

Jason
www.theselfsufficientway.com
dear jason welcome to the GF. i am a new member also as well as being a novice gardener. your handle immediately caught my eye because one of my dearest gardening books is "THE SELF-SUFFICIENT GARDENER" by John Seymour copyright 1978 and originally published in Great Britain by Faber and Faber Limited, London. i found this book in a used book store a couple of years ago and have fallen in love with it. i have added your web site to my favs and will visit tomorrow...i have used up all my computer time today here in the GF..the laundry won't wash itself, the vacuum won't push itself and then there's dinner to make. hope you enjoy your time at the GF as much as i enjoy mine...
 
Hello and welcome Jason to a great place if I haven't told you.

I started out with clay soil here in Texas. Every year since I began gardening I have added compost and I have started to see a difference.
Hey Dor

Thanks, your response what what I was looking for. Everything I read and have experience says that adding the organic matter to any soil type obviously improves it. I think clay is pretty good soil. I never had too many problems with it (but I never grew carrots!).

Jason
 
dear jason welcome to the GF. i am a new member also as well as being a novice gardener. your handle immediately caught my eye because one of my dearest gardening books is "THE SELF-SUFFICIENT GARDENER" by John Seymour copyright 1978 and originally published in Great Britain by Faber and Faber Limited, London. i found this book in a used book store a couple of years ago and have fallen in love with it. i have added your web site to my favs and will visit tomorrow...i have used up all my computer time today here in the GF..the laundry won't wash itself, the vacuum won't push itself and then there's dinner to make. hope you enjoy your time at the GF as much as i enjoy mine...
Hey Tonya, thank you.

Yeah, I feel like a bit of a copycat. I got my webpage set up and talked to a friend about podcasting and followed his advice to pick a niche. I picked gardening which I've been doing for many years and love. So by proxy I named the podcast what it is. Then I found out about the book and felt bad.

I did pick up his other book "The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It". It is a really neat book and he seems like a cheeky fellow. Some of his drawings are priceless!

But here in the last 5 years or so, I've pushed my gardening toward no chemicals, sustainability and gardening as a cycle. So the name still fits, even if it is a bit of a copy...

Jason
 

tonya

New Member
i wasn't implying that you were copying jason i thought maybe you guys were related or something. now that you have turned me on to his second book i will take myself out to find that one too. i liked his writing style..oh and by the way i didn't answer the question...i don't actually know what type of soil i have but every time i put something in the ground i put compost in with it..even if it doesn't need it:)
 
i wasn't implying that you were copying jason i thought maybe you guys were related or something. now that you have turned me on to his second book i will take myself out to find that one too. i liked his writing style..oh and by the way i didn't answer the question...i don't actually know what type of soil i have but every time i put something in the ground i put compost in with it..even if it doesn't need it:)
Oh I didn't take it that way at all. I guess I just feel a little guilty about it. I hope he doesn't feel like I'm trading off of his name.

I'm fortunate with soil. I've got a nice loam here but I'm pretty sure it was hauled in by the previous owners. I was at my little vacation property and was planting trees last weekend and I have some type of silty clay which should be fine for planting as long as I do as you all have and put plenty of compost in!

Jason
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have good soil now, but it was not always so. It has been amended regularly with cleanings from the stalls over the last ten years along with leaves.
 

tonya

New Member
jason i think he would be happy to know that someone is interested in continuing his work...i wikkied him and he passed away sept. '04...the work you do is very important and has only just been recognized in the last decade...keep up the good work!!by the way what types of trees did you plant...i have a neighbor across the way who uses an outdoor flood light that must be 5000 watts....in the summer and fall when the sphagmytis(sp) is tallest its not a problem but winter&spring i need to decide on a tree to plant to block out that insufferable light...i need a quick growing species that can handle a wet boggy site and compete with a few mature oaks..any suggestions???
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jason,
Here in Fl we have basically sand. But I have mine ammended with home-made compost . It takes several seasons before it is stable for good growing. There are something that appreciate the sand such as carrots, onions, and greens. But once I have aplot ammended , I love my soil;)
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
All but sandy soil here too!
The more organic matter I can work in the better!
Sand limits what perennials I can grow, but there are so many that require well drained, dry soil that I should have a wonderful garden this year. And all are drought tolerant!
I researched all the species and genus and found some weird and wonderful combinations that should do great! My main seed supplier is GardensNorth.com.
To help maintain soil moisture I spread a layer of shredded cedar bark mulch. The cedar bark breaks down slowly, so all I need to do is add another fresh layer each year.
I really should write up an inventory of all the seeds I'm currently growing! I will get around to doing that, eventually, at some point this year!
I have well over a hundred species at last count!!!
Some are native while others come from Europe, Siberia, Turkey, China and South America and places in between!
 
Randy--Do you ever have any problems with your plants growing a lot of green material but not many blooms? Just curious.

Tonya--Thank you for the info and your comments. Where are you located? That is funny but not really about the light. Neighbors!!

Right off hand, I'm always thinking about food crops. Persimmons do well in pretty wet ground and they are a semi-understory tree so they might do well with the conditions you describe. They don't grow real fast and they are deciduous so only the branches would help in the winter. For that you might want to try a white pine or a Leyland Cypress which grows several feet per year or a tree I just read about called a Thuja Green Giant which grows even faster. All are evergreens I believe so they will block out the light year round. Don't forget you can always divert the water away with swales. Personally I planted Pecans and Pawpaws which are native to KY.

Crabbergirl--Do you have trouble with keeping water and nutrients in the sand? I've never had to deal with it so I only have reading knowledge on it.

Wow Ron, if I keep it up, I'll be in the same shape you are with too many different plants! I'm loving the mulch too. I use whatever I can get my hands on for mulch.

Jason
 
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RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wow Ron, if I keep it up, I'll be in the same shape you are with too many different plants! I'm loving the mulch too. I use whatever I can get my hands on for mulch.
One can never have enough plants!
I will be selling the overflow, after I get the new gardens planted this spring!
I even have various species of drought tolerant shrubs and trees! They are still in pots that I started last year! They should be in fine shape once I get them in the ground. Persimmon, Catalpa, Hackleberry, 2 species of Sorbus, 3 species of Betula, Cornus Mas, Amelanchier sanguinea... Cladrastis lutea....
For shrubs: Buckhorn, Korean Berberis., 2 species of Ribes....
...and the list goes on!
 

tonya

New Member
jason, i'm in the tidewater section of virginia...the water is not a problem for me as i am on higher ground but this area does stay fairly wet all year...i had thought about the leyland cypress but they are so over planted here...i have been trying to buy a paw paw for 2 years now..it is native here too and i have missed getting one by minutes at the native plant society sales...paw paw is a host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly..i will keep perservering there has to be one out there for me..thanx for the help!
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jason, the problem you describe would be a high nitrogen situation and that doesn't happen. There is sawdust and wood chips in the material taken from the stalls and I actually have to add some nitrogen do the plants will have enough, especially after a heavy application of stall bedding.
 
jason, i'm in the tidewater section of virginia...the water is not a problem for me as i am on higher ground but this area does stay fairly wet all year...i had thought about the leyland cypress but they are so over planted here...i have been trying to buy a paw paw for 2 years now..it is native here too and i have missed getting one by minutes at the native plant society sales...paw paw is a host plant for the zebra swallowtail butterfly..i will keep perservering there has to be one out there for me..thanx for the help!
Hey Tonya. I got mine from a local Forestry Division nursery. I am sure if you google Virginia Forestry you can find your state nursery. The trees there are really cheap.

Randy--you knew what I was getting at then... I was just curious as I had heard that raw manure would do that but if you have plenty of carbon from the wood chips then of course you answered how you tackle that one. It seems strange to me though. I had a blackberry patch next to an old cow pen and it ate the raw manure up big time. So when I read and heard that I was really surprised. I was just wondering if others saw what I saw or actually had these "problems".

Jason
 

Alan in Vermont

New Member
I have always heard that "raw" manure would "burn" plants. I went against that when I had access to truckloads @ 6-7 cubic yards each only 1/2 mile from where one of my plots. That lead to yellow, sickly plants. First thought was Ph had gotten thoroughly messed up. WRONG! Nitrogen depletion because of all the wood shavings used for bedding. Any commercial stables around here use bedding to excess so that will be almost a universal problem.

I'm working in any and all material I can get my hands on for the opposite reason of most of you (except Crabber), I'm trying to get some moisture holding capacity into sand. Not real fast draining sand but enough that it needs water weekly, something that doesn't always happen in July and early August here.

Now that I know what happens it is fairly easy to deal with, liberal apps of Urea or Ammonium Sulphate, tilled in. Sidedressing the corn regularly keeps that on track also. At some point I'll get somebody in with a plow that can go deeper than my little one. Three years of heavy material additions and the sand is changing color and starting to get more body.

Now I'm getting resistance from the landlady and her spiritualist/dowser sidekick. The word came down that she doesn't want anything more put on because I have taken all the "life force" from the soil. It is my fault that the corn they planted 3-4" deep didn't come up well and the potatoes they were going to hand pick(and never did) potato beetles from died from the infestation. No point trying to explain anything to them, they get their info from "the spirits".
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
"My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with facts." There is no point it trying to reason with someone who chooses to remain ignorant.

I did have trouble one year with the plants being pretty puny and it was because of too much of the bedding material. I asked a friend of mine what he thought and he told me what had happened. I followed his advice the following year by spreading some urea over the area and I was back in business. I think I will do a soil test this year though as I have not added anything over the last year. I did pick up a bag of lime yesterday though. The rainy season does have a tendency to give us an acid soil. That works great for the berries, but doesn't help the veggies.
 

rogerjackkson

New Member
I was lucky with the soil. I have a good loam soil here, but I'm sure it was hauled from the previous owners. I have my little vacation property and plant trees on the weekend, I have some type of fine silty clay to be planted, as long as I do, you have already put some more compost.
 


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