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Soil

 
 
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 01:22 pm
I was putting in my RV pad a couple years ago and I moved a lot of the dirt from the side of my house to my flower beds and garden over a year ago. I wanted to build them both up and needed to move the dirt for the cement. I figured this was a great option. Planted some new flowers (as I'm starting over in them) in the flower beds and planted veggies in the garden. Well, both my garden and flower beds have struggled since then.

The flower beds barely grew any weeds. I think this was strange since the weeds grew like crazy in the RV parking area. Both the garden and flower beds grew like crazy and I never had a problem with this. What can I do to the soil to get growth again? Any advice would be great.

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 1,004 • Replies: 13
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 02:35 pm
@jerryday,
You're going to have to get some kind of soil analysis to find out what the problem is, before you can determine the treatment. Also, possibly there is a drainage or other problem that is not actually related to a soil problem.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 03:02 pm
@roger,
soil analysis followed by a winter time COVER CROP . Use something like annual rye because it has really long roots that reach deeply into the soil . This improves soil TILTH and allows it to form air pockets in a microscopic size. Invite worms in and dig in some compost or manures from horses or cattle.

Soil thats moved around can be seemingly sterile for a few years unless you get on it.
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 03:22 pm
@jerryday,
What state do you live in, jerryday? Can't say anything because I live in Texas Hill Country where you would have to bring in topsoil, there's only (I think) 4 inches of topsoil here before hitting either rocks or cement-hard clay. We buy a lot of dirt.

But, I would recommend starting a compost pile, starting with this fall's leaves if you haven't already, ash from fireplace this winter.

Farmerman recommended annual rye. We did that once, had beautiful green grass that turned black in summer. So, do you just turn this stuff over next spring? Haven't tried it on a garden.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 03:45 pm
@Pemerson,
a cover crop is used to set up soil tilth. When the crop comes up in the spring and before it dies in seed, you till it under. They call it "Green manure"
We often leave a field fallow for a grow season and plant annual rye . We let the sheep graze it during the summer and then till it in fall and plant alafalfa
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 05:08 pm
Could the soil have become contaminated, since it was where your RV was parked? (If I am reading your post right, you moved the soil from this area to put in cement. Did you park vehicles there even before putting in the cement?)
Gas, oil, other fluids can deaden the soil
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 05:19 pm
@farmerman,
Thanks, Farmer. This will make husband happy. We were thinking of planting clover or annual (perrenial?) rye over our two septic tanks this fall. We only have 1/2 acre but this area still has septic fields and they're practically bare of grass, or weeds, all summer. Obviously, we can't turn it under in this case, can we? Big problem here, they look like two graves for giants.

Georgetown, TX, incidentally, is on ABSOLUTELY NO WATERING LANDSCAPED AREAS right now. What a bummer. By next week we may get to water once a week, but not the grass.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 05:22 pm
@Pemerson,
You mean Erma Bombeck was wrong? She had a book out called The Grass is always Greener over the Septic Tank.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 06:20 pm
@Pemerson,
Burpee is having a sale on several Fall and Winter cover crops for various climate zones of the country.

http://www.burpee.com/organic-gardening/cover-crops/

I don't know what part of the country you are in, but if you are in a warmer winter climate zone, you might try this cover crop. What would be nice about it for your septic tank area is it includes winter peas which have a white flower.

http://www.burpee.com/organic-gardening/cover-crops/cover-crop-warm-climate-prod001535.html?catId=cat380002&trail=

Quote:
Organic cover crop that will be very successful in warmer climates contains of 70 % Winter Grain Rye, 30% Field(Austrian) winter Pea. Balanced mix of rapid growing winter rye for erosion control and weed suppression plus Austrian winter pea for Nitrogen fixation and aesthetic color during the winter. Packet will cover 300 to 400 square ft.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:48 pm
@Butrflynet,
Thanks Butrflynet, I'll look into Burpee
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:51 pm
@roger,
I don't get that at all. No, it is not greener over the septic tank, and it is not greener over the septic fields. After all, there's only the tank there, no water going upwards. And, the fields are awfully big, but only two of us. If you get the drift.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:55 pm
@Pemerson,
Well, it was a good title, anyway.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 10:10 pm
@roger,
Yeah, the lady never saw a septic tank.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 08:26 am
@Pemerson,
I guess the editors thought "The Grass is Always Greener Over The Lateral Lines" didn't have the right ring.
0 Replies
 
 

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