A Garden Update

In late summer of 2015, we did a HUGE side yard overhaul and built six large raised gardening beds.  I had soil problems and didn’t have a lot of success that fall/winter.  I planted a lot during the summer of 2016 and realized I had some pretty massive soil problems ~ worse than I’d thought.  The premium compost for which we paid a small fortune?  It was mostly loam or clay and way too acidic.   We added many a bag of good organic compost, worm castings, rock dust, innoculants and soil mixes but still had the same issues…90% of everything would just shrivel and die, while only a few plants in a few choice spots would actually live.  I spoke to a garden consultant who advised me to let everything alone for another 6-12 months, minimum.  We basically let everything that didn’t die grow as much as it wanted, and then bolt and dry out and at that point, we’ve been lopping things off at ground level, and letting the debris go back into the soil.  I intended to plant this spring/summer but time and the budget didn’t work out, but that’s ok.  I’m going to let my soil further “mature” this summer and I’ll plant again in late-August for a fall/winter/spring garden.  The consultant told me it can often take 1-2 YEARS to get soil healthy if it doesn’t start out that way and the end of this summer will be the two year mark for us.  I was disappointed at first, because I felt like we’d thrown away so much money (and I’m a huge cheapskate!) but knowing that the time we’re giving it is an investment in the soil’s future makes me feel better.


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