In my new garden area, I have soil which I cannot identify as sand or clay.
When I first cleared the weeds, the soil was hard and medium brown, and seemed like clay. Having tilled for the first time, it turned into yellowish-brown, very fine powder. When I water it, the top layer (about 1/8" maybe) gets wet and becomes impenetrable by additional water. So the water just runs off or puddles. No matter how much I water, if I stick my finger in the ground, its dry powder just below the surface.
I added a fair amount of peat moss and manure (in some part, I added about 4 cu ft of peat moss and two bags of manure to a ~45 sq ft area) and it doesn't change the water absorption behavior.
Surprisingly enough, the watermelon seeds, which I had planted in a rush in part of that garden before I realized the severity of the problem, have sprouted and look quite happy!
The question (besides "what kind of soil is this?") is what is the best way to amend it. Should I add sand? I have 12 acres of woods, so I have ample supply of oak and maple leaves, but I am impatient, and don't want to wait to compost the leaves before I proceed with my gardening. I believe that I can also get a lot of horse manure from neighboring farms, but I've read warnings about using it before letting it compost for a long time.
Thanks for any insights!