hard ground

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by sherio, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. sherio

    sherio New Seed

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    The dirt in our garden is so hard in most places you'd think it was cement. Needless to say, it makes planting and weeding quite challenging. Is it possible to soften the dirt somehow?
     
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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Oh, yes it is possible, but it takes a while. Start with putting 2" to 4" of compost on top of your "cement" and watering it well. Then scratch the compost in as much as you can, and add more compost. Depending on how much rain you get this could take up to a year, or as little as six months. After you have added up to 8" of compost, you ought to have arable soil, not only soil that you can plant in and weed, but soil that is very good for plants.
    Anything you do that improves your soil makes planting, growing, and weeding easier.
     
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  4. sherio

    sherio New Seed

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    Super! Thank you!!
     
  5. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    If you have access to wood chips (make sure there was no walnut chipped with them) spread a nice thick layer on the area and leave them alone. Do not disturb it, do not til it under do not cover it with plastic mulch. rake back the row where you want to plant (next year) and plant clear at the bottom where the chips are starting to decompose and pull the chips back close to the plants after they have germinated.
     



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  6. sherio

    sherio New Seed

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    Thank you, Carolyn! Why the caution about walnut among the chips?
     
  7. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Walnut tree roots and wood contain juglone which is toxic to many plants. It is best to avoid walnut chips and shavings. If the content of the wood chips is unknown, perhaps it is better to not use it.
    Here is a site that explains the toxicity much better than I can!
    http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/black-walnut-toxicity/
     
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  8. sherio

    sherio New Seed

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    Who knew? Thank you!!
     

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