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View Diary: Introduction to Ecological Gardening pt. V: Basic Garden Ecology- Polycultures (39 comments)

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  •  Yes, sandy soils are definitely easier to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, FinchJ, flowerfarmer, AnnCetera

    build up with amendments over the years getting to a sandy loam texture, a gardener's dream.  Conversely, I have to contend with adobe soil, that while nutrient rich, is texturally a gardener's nightmare.

    •  I have gardened in Tucson (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, FinchJ

      and found that adding horse feed/alfalfa pellets, with or without molasses, that i bought in huge bags at the feed store did an adequate job of loosening that difficult desert 'soil'.

      I would just spread the pellets around my plants thickly and then water.
      The pellets dissolve and act as a mulch as they degrade, if you keep watering, or turn to dust if you don't.

      I grew the best beets and scallions, not so well with pole beans- too hot.

      •  That's a new one for me. I like sheet mulching (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flowerfarmer, FinchJ

        where you can plant starts right into the mulch and by season's end or the next year, the sheeting has decomposed and the clay soil gets lots of microbial activity loosening up the clods.

        •  Planting into mulch is my preferred (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          method as well.

          In the desert, however, there is little to no free leaf material to really do that as it should be.

          I am back in New England now and celebrate the abundance of deciduous leaves as a brown gold resource.

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