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Author Topic: Your secret soil ingredients  (Read 1681 times)

VUgearhead

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Your secret soil ingredients
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:56:32 AM »
I just recently turned my narrow side yard into a 'garden' of sorts. I've made about 150 of the 200 square feet  into beds on the south side of the house. I planted a pomogranate for my daughter and some bananas take up a corner, but the rest is free and clear and straight sand! I would like to have some perennials as well as some space for veggies.

I'm not wanting to build raised beds and haul in a bunch of topsoil, so I've been thinking about what to amend the existing soil with. I'm definitely going to put in what little homemade compost I have (my compost barrel makes a pittance, and never gets hot, so it takes a long time too!). I want to find some Oil Dri because I know the clay they use has some ionic bonding properties. I figured that would be a good addition to help with moisture and nutrient retention and be somewhat permanent. I plan on making some biochar from the HLB infected citrus tree I cut down recently and add that as well. I figured peat to help with organic matter and acidity as well. But beyond that, IDK.

What do you all use in your south florida sugar sand gardens?
If you can eat it, GROW IT!!

stuartdaly88

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 02:26:46 AM »
Im Not sure about amending sugar sand but for really crappy clay I found annuals that grow fast and have a lot of biomass then just chop it up and rework into the soil after a few seasons the ground is fertile and beautiful :) No amendment has been as good for me as this process!

My wife hates the messy look but I don't remove weeds leaf litter etc from my beds just dig it in or let it rest as mulch I even chuck my old fruit peels etc into my beds and my plants grow very very well without compost. If you have trees in the bed just make sure all the litter doesn't touch the trunk. Some people may be against this and have more sterile beds but I love this method:)

Even old cardboard boxxes I rip up and throw into the beds
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 01:40:42 AM by stuartdaly88 »
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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spaugh

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2018, 09:38:21 AM »
We have a bowl in the kitchen that all fruit and veg scraps go into.  Once its full, its goes to the garden.  Shovel out a small hole and dump it in then cover it back up.  Worms take care of the rest.  Works great.
Brad Spaugh

markinnaples

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 03:51:18 PM »
Tithonia diversifolia provides a huge amount of biomass for chop and drop green manuring. It doesn't need much in the way of fertilizer  and grows very quickly from cuttings.

containerman

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 01:33:30 PM »
I drink coffee and we also drink tea so I always saved the grounds and the go into my raised beds. I also take my fruit tree and citrus tree cuttings and put them into them as well. I might start using banana peels and cut them into really small pieces and place them into my raised beds and container plants. I try and use mulch from my trees as a top layer as well.

Tacticalgardener

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 04:56:41 PM »
I also live in South Florida and our "soil" is horrible. The best think you can do is add everything you can to the soil to build it up. Being straight sand, it needs anything you can give it to hold moisture. Mulch is essential in South Florida in order to build as healthy a soil as you can get here. Any grass clippings (as long as you don't use all kinds of chemicals on your lawn), cardboard, leaves, etc. I like to layer. When I was making my beds I did not find one worm. Now I just move the woodchips and there are worms all over. You said you planted banana trees? That's great. Once a tree produces it dies and more come up to take its place. Chop up the old banana trees and add them to your garden. Banana trees hold a ton of water and are great to add to your soil. Also planting pigeon peas near your garden helps a lot. It's an excellent nitrogen producer and makes a great living trellis for climbing plants. Not to mention the peas. My kids love to eat them fresh in the garden.

BajaJohn

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Re: Your secret soil ingredients
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2018, 12:19:54 PM »
If you compost bin remains cool, you might try adding some worms to it to help digestion and produce a rich soil.

 

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