DeeDee
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:18 pm

My Miserable Garden

Hi all

I am having trouble with my garden and need some help.

I have a small back yard which is semi shady to sunny, with soil containing all sorts of rubbish. (The builder who did my flat dumped all kinds of things into the garden, like computer chips and juice bottles. I didn't know this till I bought the place and started digging the ground up.) Depending on the spot the ground is too well drained, or with too much clay. And I have SERIOUS slug/bug problems.

I have been digging the whole garden up and mixing up organic matters, or just generally airing the ground. It is getting better but I still cannot get it right. I am trying both organic/chemical slug-cides but it is JUST not working enough.

It's been over 3 yrs since I began my work on it, and every plant I plant into the ground simply doesn't grow well at all. Following were the only plants did OK;
(All grown from seeds.)
Heliotrope
Thunbergia
Nasturtium
Lavatera
Chives and Onions
Lavender

Following did OK in one year or another;
Lupin
Delphinium
Chilli (all sorts)
Blue Salvia

Following were SUPPOSED to be dead easy to grow, but failed!!;
Nemophila
Nemesia
Nigella
Larkspur
Hosta (bought roots)

They failed ones grew really small, or just dissapeared/died.

I am adopting methods of companion planting and green manure, but it is just taking so long and I am wasting so much money and killing so many seedlings.

Please give me a few ideas what I should be doing next...
like, is there any plants that is sure to grow in my garden of death? :twisted:
And what can i do with bugs, bugs and bugs!!

I am trying mints now, but they are a bit boring...

Thank you for reading all of it and thank you for your comment in advance xx

User avatar
Grey
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Oh my - such an awful situation for you!
I can relate - I find beer bottles/broken glass/ cans/ toys/hairthings/old carpet all the time. But I think my soil is otherwise okay, if just really hard clay!

Anyway - you are on the right track - have you gotten your soil tested? This might better help you identify which nutrients are lacking. Since you have such a diverse problem, have several sections tested (be meticulous with your labeling!).

DeeDee
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:18 pm

Thank you for your reply!

I never saw soild test kits in garden centres,
wonder if I was being blind??

My guess is that my garden is un-naturally alki as my heather died!
(Heather? Dead? In English soil? How is that possible??)

I am seriously thinking of buying a gallon of vinegar and spray it
over my garden...

And I really do want that big fat tree in my neighbour's garden to GO...

my_secret_garden
Cool Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: Clinton IA, Zone 5a
Contact: Yahoo Messenger

I can relate to this too. Every time I dig, I find junk. The sad thing is that most of this junk is stuff that my husband used in the yard at some point and then instead of putting it away, he left it in the yard and it "disappeared". He owned this house for about five years before I moved in and so cleaning and tending to the yard has been a huge project for me.

Wendakai
Full Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:25 am

DeeDee, I'm wondering if the answer for you mightn't be raised garden beds. If you used rocks or wood to build up sides for your garden, you could then fill them with good topsoil... gone the problem of digging in the dump, so to speak. You can design your raised beds as you wish (limitations where there are weeping tiles) and enjoy success relatively quickly, compared with trying to test, treat and turn the existing soil into a garden. Yes, some of your plants will be dropping roots into the dump, but the more nutrients you put on top, the better it will all become as time goes on.

Just a thought.
<i><font size = 5> Wendakai</i></font>

BIGBAD42
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 2:42 am
Location: Ft Worth Tx
Contact: Yahoo Messenger

DeeDee I had almost the same problem and almost gave up .My back yard was left to grow wild for over 20 years and the old owner just threw everything he did not need in the back yard.

I purchased a rotor tiller,or you can rent one from your local center.If you are not able to till it yourself it would be worth paying a local teen age boy to till it 6 or 8 times and then rake the heck out of it and get as much trash ect as you can.

Then you may try what I found to work. Decide where you want plants, mark those spots and dig holes which will be larger than the root balls of the plants you want to plant. I would suggest you go to somewhere like Wal Mart and purchase the plants already in containers. Fill the bottom and part of the sides with a mixture of composted cow manure and Miracle Gro Garden Soil. Then put your plant in and finish filling the hole around your plant with the mixture.

I was able to have a very nice veg garden the first year and have since slowely raked and sorted out the trash, metal and glass out and this year I have red potato plants and tomato plants 5 to 6 feet tall and loads of tomatoes and small potatoes.

Hope this helps

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