Hardpan soil

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by spanishwilly, May 3, 2006.

  1. spanishwilly

    spanishwilly Member

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    Hello,
    I will be moving to my new house in the hills next month. The soil is quite clay around here. Does anyone know if this coconut fibre product would be any good for amending soil?
    thanks
     
  2. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anything organic would be good for amending your clay soil, so the coco fiber product qualifies. However, it is also sold as a water-retaining amendment, so you might want to be careful and do only a little area at first to see how it acts.
     

  3. spanishwilly

    spanishwilly Member

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    uhh maybe with some perlite, too?
     
  4. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    Boy... clay soil has been a BIG issue for me in my garden this year. Now, I am a new organic gardener, so by NO means an expert....
    I did find this product called gypsum, which is organic, that is supposed to really help. However, my garden is large, and it would have costed me over $200.00 to use it!
    So, I went to square foot beds for that and water retention reasons that I could augment with my compost, leaf litter, bought hummus and peat. I jst didn't use all of my garden space. Worked out pretty nice and was much less expensive. I bought one of those home tests to see what was missing in the soil and added organic bone and blood meal (sp?) to the soil. That was what I could afford to do at this time. Believe it or not, all of that costed a LOT less than the gypsum. If this coconut thing works out, let me know... I sure will want to be checking into it. I have SOOOO much more space I could garden in, but the soil here wouldn't sustain much without help.
     
  5. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    Working some sand into the clay (in addition to organic matter like compost) really helps to improve the texture and drainage of the soil.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Put your hen house over next year's garden area. Keep a layer of straw in it. Toss corn in once in a while. The chickens will do the rest.
     
  7. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Lots of organic matter will help. No sand. Instead of using coir (coconut fiber) I suggest peat. It's a constantly renewing resource growing readily here in the US. We can't use all that we have here in the northeast now. I use it instead of having coir shipped in from other countries.
     
  8. spanishwilly

    spanishwilly Member

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    Yeah, that sounds right. If I'm being honest, the fact that the coconut stuff is really light makes it very attractive as I live on a steepish hill in southern Spain. I'll see where the peat around here comes from. Thanks.
    Why no sand?
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Best recipe for changing the structure of clay or silt soil:

    First year, 15% sand and 10% organic matter. After that, 10% organic matter annually.

    Martin
     
  10. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    One of the books I am reading says that if the soil is mostly clay, and you add sand, with no other organic matter, you get a good concrete next time it rains, but I have heard lots of gardeners say that is what they do. (Book is Organic gardening by Rodale). :shrug:
    I was just to inexperienced and nervous to try sand after reading that.
     
  11. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    Willy, many people say not to add sand to clay because of the thought that clay and sand make bricks. This is only true if you pack it and bake it and don't have any organic matter. Adding a little sand to my clay soil has worked really well to lighten it's texture.