Breaking new soil in a new area of the farm

We had a area that we cleared and last year we planted it out into potato’s and added a lot of compost to it and when we dug the potato’s we double dug the whole bed, and I planned to plant all kinds of root veggies.

Well, this spring was I in for a surprise, I have not really looked at it much, at least till today when I headed out to clean it and then plant the seeds.. Wow.. the soil is poor..

I am used to my normal amazing river loam soil in my main garden  see aboveand my nursery garden and by the time the raised beds break down into the soil, its pretty good..

This soil, not so much.. in the whole time I cleaned it, not one worm.. almost no plants..  Boy does it have a good amount of sand and just enough clay in it to form a crust on the soil..

The darker lines are where we watered in the seeds, its so dry.. like a powder in there, now to be fair we have not had any real rain for coming on two weeks but the other area’s are holding their moisture still quite well.. this is clearly going to be very well draining.. I will have to see after I do a few things to it if I can get it to hold its moisture better.

 I cut up 3/4th a laundry basket worth of chopped comfrey as our first gift to the soil and the plants.. I will be doing a number of things over the next weeks and the summer, I will do the updates and we will see where this soil and garden is by fall and by next spring.

Think of it as a cut and drop but as you can see, I took snipers to the comfrey to get it fairly uniform in size and I don’t want them over the seed row, I want them on the sides of where the seeds are, they will quickly wilt out and rot down, both leaching in and I will also loosely turn them in.. Think of its a step one taken today..

This is the front area that is planted into a Double row of carrots and the chopped comfrey went in the middle between the two rows and then winter turnips and two rows of beets, the corn will get a different treatment as will the cabbage area behind the corn.  I have my work cut out for me to get this garden soil living again..

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8 Responses to Breaking new soil in a new area of the farm

  1. Cricket says:

    Is it a sandbar left by the river that gave you that beautiful loam or is it a piece of land that was farmed in a way that exhausted it, prior to your arrival, of course?

    • Hello Cricket, very good questions.. The side of the land that has the main garden has had many years of use as part of the farm yard, and I made a compost pile on each section of yearly, starting my garden over a old compost pile when I moved to the soil, so it was a combo of good loam and work on my part.. this area however, I have let it remain wild, just wild foraging on it and cutting it down once or twice a year using it as a way to build carbon for the compost piles, Its also part of the yard that as far as I know has never been used for farming, livestock, pasture or garden.. its truly wild raw soil.. it will be interesting to work with it, I have no doubt that I will learn lots doing so.

  2. A Small Country Living says:

    J > It’s fluvial silt. It’s likely to be rich in minerals, but lacks organic material and therefore soil structure and air, and won’t retain moisture. Add in compost, manure – anything organic, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

  3. Mmm, seeing sand and thinking Asparagus, Tobacco and Morels…

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