Dean asked what Kim and I
did to condition the soil. Our soil in Alexandria, Virginia, is
mostly clay. It's sticky and clumpy. To make it easier for our
vegetables to grow, we
- mixed in a bag and a bit of pine mulch
- mixed in 80 pounds of humus
- dug and turned
- mixed in 100 pounds of topsoil
- dug and turned again.
After all that, we went through it by hand with trowels and our actual
hands, making the clay clumps smaller. We're putting more topsoil on
tonight if it doesn't rain. We'll add another 350 pounds of it.
I wasn't too keen on the pine mulch, but Kim's mother said that a
landscaper she knows mixes that into clay soil. I don't like pine
mulch in the soil because it makes splinters that get into your
fingers when you're playing in the dirt. OTOH, you're not supposed to
play in the dirt without gloves, so I guess it's not really an issue.
It sure smelled nice! Next time, we might try cocoa shell mulch.
Smells like chocolate!