AHA!!!! NOW I know why!
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Thread: AHA!!!! NOW I know why!

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    Site Moderator girlisrad's Avatar
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    Default AHA!!!! NOW I know why!

    My Garden did not live!!!

    NO. WATER. PENETRATION.

    I went in and started to weed/pull out the dead plants. I pulled a few up, and DUST came up with it!!!!! Im like WTHHH!!!!!!

    Dug down and Low and behold!!!! 90% of my garden is BONE DRY 2 inches down. No plant had a chance in there! the maters are doing great because they are close enough to the sprinkler system that the roots are getting a good soak every day!!! Everything else died from DROUGHT. HOW SAD!!!!

    I knew we had a lot of clay, I just never knew how very repellant it was to water EEK!!!!

    So, we are past the point of another turn, other than what I can do by hand. My tomatoes are thriving and I am not going to tear them out...

    SO... I dug out irrigation rows just like the farms do around here... And just flopped up loose hills. I soaked the rows and hills once already, and will let that soak in and do another good soak before the end of the day. Tomorrow I will dig around and re-evaluate. If I cannot get any penetration then I give up for the year!!! I will let the maters go, grow my pallet and start over with a MASSIVE garden soil overhaul next year!!!

    Sorry it was so lengthy... but I am happy to have found a reason LOL! My thumb may not be brown after all
    I'm back, baby.

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    Yay! I am so glad you figured out what is wrong. What is a maters? Don't give up! You still have plenty of time to do something. I would suggest to get some big pots and fill them with store bought dirt. Then buy a few plants and plant them in the pots. Just a few plants can produce a lot! My soil is very clay as well. That is why I have a raised bed. Do pots for this year then maybe raised beds next year.

    I am planning on doing a second raised bed for next year. What I am planning to do to make it cheaper is, this Fall when the leaves are falling build my box then fill it with leaves. Then when they have settled add the dirt. This will give debth without a ton (literally) of soil. I am also planning to put newspaper down first so I do not need to worry about digging up the grass. If you go to my Pinterest, I have a lot on raised beds. They really work better than trying to fix the soil you already have.

    ~Bonita~

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    Site Moderator girlisrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Yay! I am so glad you figured out what is wrong. What is a maters? Don't give up! You still have plenty of time to do something. I would suggest to get some big pots and fill them with store bought dirt. Then buy a few plants and plant them in the pots. Just a few plants can produce a lot! My soil is very clay as well. That is why I have a raised bed. Do pots for this year then maybe raised beds next year.

    I am planning on doing a second raised bed for next year. What I am planning to do to make it cheaper is, this Fall when the leaves are falling build my box then fill it with leaves. Then when they have settled add the dirt. This will give debth without a ton (literally) of soil. I am also planning to put newspaper down first so I do not need to worry about digging up the grass. If you go to my Pinterest, I have a lot on raised beds. They really work better than trying to fix the soil you already have.
    Well, its too late for pots or for me. I cannot afford to buy anything else LOL! AND... We are going to be out of town this weekend, home for 3 days, then gone AGAIN for another 2 full weeks. So I just cannot start over again. I need to plant now or never...

    BUT, the good news is I have worked my fool head off all day, and got the whole garden re-turned and FULLY soaked. After another turn and another soak tonight I will turn in come more garden soil and compost as well, re-soak and then replant.

    I THINK.. that part of our problem was that I planted too long after tilling.. and I never really got in there and soaked it, or tore it back up again. Just dug holes and planted.... So without having really gone through and gave that soil one more good turn I set myself up for failure, ya know? I knew the dirt seemed dry, BUT I figured after a daily soak of water all would be well.. but that clay just re-packed so quickly! At least I am hoping that's the case!!!

    It already looks a ZILLION times better. Now that I am re-opening everything the soil is accepting the water and looking more like dirt and less like the Sahara LOL!

    Ok, one more day of shoveling ROFL!! Wish me luck!

    OH ETA: Yes I love raised beds!!! If this season doesn't break me, then I may beg a little for one. Im sure our landlords would be fine with it.. and DH surely needs something to do LOL!

    AND Maters are Tomatoes!! LOL! like, Mater from Cars!
    I'm back, baby.

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    Wow, I am glad you are going to try again! I have read a lot of places to only water once a week. Obviously they have never seen our soil. I water twice a week. We need to see more pictures after things start to grow.

    ~Bonita~

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    Site Moderator girlisrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Wow, I am glad you are going to try again! I have read a lot of places to only water once a week. Obviously they have never seen our soil. I water twice a week. We need to see more pictures after things start to grow.
    Twice a WEEK :O LOL!!!

    I will need to water twice a DAY at this point HAHHAA!!!!!!

    Pictures for SURE!
    I'm back, baby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by girlisrad View Post
    Twice a WEEK :O LOL!!!

    I will need to water twice a DAY at this point HAHHAA!!!!!!

    Pictures for SURE!
    Hmmm. I am not sure about that. What time of day did you say you water? Try watering late at night so it has time to soak over night. Also try watering a lot all at once less often. For example water for 15 minutes every other day instead of 5 minutes every day. Good Luck!

    ~Bonita~

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    Site Moderator girlisrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Hmmm. I am not sure about that. What time of day did you say you water? Try watering late at night so it has time to soak over night. Also try watering a lot all at once less often. For example water for 15 minutes every other day instead of 5 minutes every day. Good Luck!

    I was just kidding :P

    I do water in the late evenings and sometimes will give a mist mid-day if its been particularly hot/dry/windy. We are a high desert here... which means we run at about 25% humidity or less though the spring and summer months. That combined with 90-100 degree days and winds? Makes our soil dry out quicker than you can shake a stick at it. I will need to water daily more often that not.

    So, the soil looked good this morning. still moist, and while it did stick together quite a bit I was able to break it up more easily then yesterday. I turned in the one bag of garden soil I had, and LORD willing the compost man will be there when I walk by today!!!

    I have it all tore up now and letting the sun get after it and get warm it up a bit. Hope to plant this afternoon!
    I'm back, baby.

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    Yay for planting today! Sounds like a lot of work but good exercise I hope it does better for you this time.

    ~Bonita~

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Yay for planting today! Sounds like a lot of work but good exercise I hope it does better for you this time.
    Thank YOU for all your help and encouragement!!!
    I'm back, baby.

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    Some ideas that might help in the future. If your soil has a lot of clay, add some sand. It makes spaces for air and water.

    According to my gardening specialist aka one of the girls who can GROW ANYTHING, I should add about 2" of compost and 1" of aged manure every year to my veggie beds.

    Then after my plants get up a few inches, I mulch with old alfalfa hay (between 2 and 4"). I'm sure other stuff works just as well, but that was what I could get. Lots of people will allow you to clean their barn out before they put in the fresh hay and gardens love it. The hay holds moisture in and composts over the summer so next year you have the compost already sitting there.

    Our last house, my problem wasn't clay. ALL I had was sand. No clay, no organic matter, basically no soil. Once I had my garden spot all beautified, we moved. Come to think of it, that seems a pattern.

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