Nordo
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Cooroibah, Queensland

Soil Difficult to Wet

Hi
I live in Queensland, Australia. I built some raised vege gardens a couple of years ago. We have fairly acid soil, so I added dolomite, and also several large bags of an organic compost/fertiliser mix (can't remember exactly what it was, but research indicated that it was ideal for veges).

I planted several seedlings including several types of tomatoes, sweet corn, herbs, etc. Many years ago I had a vege garden in the same spot and had wonderful success with the same plants. This time I was very disappointed with little or no yields.

I am currently waiting for a new large compost heap to do it's thing before adding it to the plots. Hopefully I will have better result once I add the compost.

Any help to get a better result would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :D

One thing I have noticed in my vege plots is that you can fully soak the ground, but scratch the surface and it's powder dry 20mm (3/4") below the surface. The soil is not heavy, and is fairly sandy.
How can I improve it's wetability? (Is that a word? :roll: )

Nordo
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Cooroibah, Queensland

Hi
When my compost is ready, I was planning on adding a thick layer (150mm/6" min.) to all the beds and dig or fork it in. In building my compost, I added a fair bit of soil from my vege plots, lowering the level of the plots so that I will have plenty of room to add the compost. Hopefully this should improve the tilth of the soil. Once I plant, I will add mulch to keep the moisture in. Not too sure what to mulch with yet. Grass clipping will be readily available, so long as they don't rob the soil of too much nitrogen. :?

a0c8c
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Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

You can always add in compost that's only 50% done. It'll finish breaking down in the soil slowly and help with the drainage issues you have. It's the only reason my soil even soaks up water, otherswise it's hard thick clay that repels water.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

Nordo
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Cooroibah, Queensland

My soil is definitely not clayey. It is hydrophobic, and won't absorb the water well. I saw an ad. last night for a soil wetting agent that you add to your watering can, etc. So I might try that as well.

Someone on this forum recommended that I add soil into the compost heap.

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SP8
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Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: Nagoya: Japan

Re: Soil Difficult to Wet

Nordo wrote:Hi
I live in Queensland, Australia.
Me too :D
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
VEGGIE-MIGHT

Nordo
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Cooroibah, Queensland

Hi Sam
Love your vege "patch". :)
About the only thing that grew well in my vege garden last year was rocket. We ate heaps of it. We have lots of salads, especially in summer. GOT to get myself some tomatoes this year. Obviously we'll grow more leafy greens.



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