Improving soil texture

The physical texture of any soil can be improved by the addition of large amounts of organic matter. You can use materials like ground corncobs, sawdust, bark chips, straw, hay, peat moss, and cover crops; it's a great way to recycle a lot of garden wastes. You

Soil Ribbon Test
A do-it-yourself test of soil texture— the longer the ribbon that forms when you squeeze the soil between your thumb and the knuckle of your forefinger, the more clay the soil contains.

can use grass clippings, provided the lawn has not been treated with a herbicide or weed killer; these substances will damage the plants you want to grow. Also avoid walnuts or walnut leaves. They contain iodine, which is a growth retardant. Making your own compost pile gives you excellent organic matter to enrich the soil and will be discussed later in this chapter.

The more organic matter you add, the more you can Improve the texture of the soil. Blend the organic matter into the soil to a depth of 12 inches, making sure that it's evenly dispersed through the whole planting area. When organic matter is added to the soil, it will absorb some of the soil's nitrogen; to compensate for this, you should add two handfuls of a complete, well-balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) for each bushel of organic matter, working it thoroughly into the soil.

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  • federico
    How to do a soil manual thumb test?
    8 years ago
  • aziza
    How do you tell if your soil has organic matter?
    7 years ago

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