john gault wrote:I'm currently in the process of building up some soil in my yard. It's the worst soil possible, just plain sand, no nutrient value and nothing living in it. Can't just throw some worms into it, they'd die very quickly.
What I've done is tilled up the area, collected leaves from houses that set them out for the city to dispose and piled them in the area I want to start a garden. I now use this area as my primary dumping area for yard/kitchen waste (as opposed to my compost pile) and it's coming along pretty good now. I hope to be able to add woms next year.
This area (phot link below) had equally bad soil last year. I added compost to it and heavily mulched over and now this banana plant is thriving (they are heavy feeders) and I do have worms and many other critters within the mulch/soil. It's amazing because just outside the mulched area is a completely different climate/environment. By different climate, I mean from the perspective of the various lifeforms in the mulched area.
If I were to dig a six inch hole outside the mulched area and fill it with water it takes quite some time for it to drain down and then once it drains down if you were to stick your finger into that hole you'd find nothing but dry sand, because sand doesn't absorb moisture, I.e. the water is completely lost. However if you were to do the same thing within the mulched area you'd watch the soil immediately soak up the water and retain it like a sponge.
BTW, I got a few neighbors that also have banana plants, they seem to be the same species, however they are very small. They all started growing at the same time this year (after the last frost of the year), but they are just growing in plain soil. So yes, you must feed the soil, do that and there's no need for store-bought fertilizers. I NEVER added anything to this area except home-made compost and keep it going by occasionally adding kitchen waste and when I prune the dying leaves I place in the soil under the mulch.
This mulched area is approx. 8' x 8' https://s1128.photobucket.com/albums/m484/76gunner/