Sunday, November 23, 2008

Soil testing

When we fist moved here 4 years ago I turned the grass out the front inot a bvegie garden, 2 large beds. I had much success the first 2 years but the second year I also had many plants stolen, I grew from seed I had collected from the first year, raised my tomato plants up to a good size just for osmeone to come over night 2 times and dig them all out! It was disheartening.

Then last year I was going to just grow things peopel might beless likely to steal (lettuce/zuchini/herbs etc) but NOTHING would grow!
My father in law had brought in a ute full of soil and added it at the start of the season. I was suss about it as had no idea where it was from etc.

well ever since added that soil NOTHING Has ever grown out the front. the grass wont even grow back. even weeds struggle on the soil!

So this year I turned the soil added loads of compost and organic matter, then planted in piles of compost on top of all that turned soil. At first things grew well.

then they have now turned to this

Yellowed stunted unhealthy looking plants!

So I finally did what I should have done ages ago... I bought a soil test.
The girls had been using soil tests at their school as they are about to plant a vegie garden at school. So I handed the test to them and let them test for me.

This reading of 6 is from the compost on top that I planted directly in.
dig just a tiny bit deeper and the soil is VERY acidic. a reading of 4and 1/2 no good!

well this does explain what I kind of already knew. I thinnk it might be a failed garden this year. I will attempt to improve the soil but have a feeling it really is going to need to have the top 10-20cms of soil removed and to start afresh. we'll see... any ideas?


Kebeni said...

You can add in lime

Lucky-1 said...

Manure.... add bags of it..... sheep manure, pulverized cow manure...aged chicken manure... mix it into the soil, this will also help to retain water, between watering.

Susan said...

Thanks for the tips guys, will do both of your suggestions and see how it goes!