Throughout the state of Texas you'll find different types of clay as well as ground. Some areas have a very rocky base making it very difficult for gardening. Here in North Texas we're blessed, yes we have clay but it's not the end of the world. You can work with it if you have the right ingredients.
Regardless of where you live, look at your current soil base evaluate your problem area and perhaps this recipe with a few tweaks will work for you too.
SOIL INGREDIENTS - 1/3 clay 1/3 sand 1/3 organic
Now let's talk about each one so you can discover how they all work together. I'm keeping this simple smart, because when you break it all down it's common sense.
Ingredient #1Clay is not our enemy; we tend to complain about clay because it sticks to our shoes when it's wet and when you dig a hole it takes every muscle we have. We think it's endless and give up. Clay has a purpose but it needs a few more ingredients to make it work. Many don't understand the difficulty that plants face when trying to grow in clay. The hard clay cripples our veggies plants we like to grow because they have a delicate root base that cannot expand in clay. What these plants need is a softer dirt consistency so they can stretch and produce. Clay does have value it holds the moisture in the ground which is important when our hot summers arrive.
Before I started gardening here we had 2 large dump truck loads of sand delivered. Our family spread it into our almost 1/2 and acre field. Why is Sand the #2 ingredient to our recipe? It allows the moisture to circulate by breaking up the clay. I didn't believe it until I saw it working and it was amazing. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where the soil was amazing to start with. If you wanted a garden you just dug one up. Here and other parts of the country you need a work ethic and ingredients to get you going in the right direction.
All natural and organic material is a must. In the picture above I posted llama droppings and piles of dried leaves. These are just a couple of examples you can add to your soil, this will increase the nutrient levels. As all gardeners know adding natural material is continuous. Most gardeners add natural materials during the winter months; I do it year round and it's the key to my success. I've written a couple other posts on manure and composting that you might want to check out. Finding Garden Manure ~ Direct Composting
Gardening is a process like most everything we want to improve on in our lives. Everything great begins with a good foundation so that we can experience great results. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate keep nurturing that soil. In 4 years I've been blessed to experience an amazing transformation in the soil where I live and the effort was worth it, just look at that powder soil in the first photo of this post.
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