Thursday, May 21, 2009

garden troubles, sandy soil

This is my beautiful, Purple Osaka, looking sad and pathetic. It should not look like this, but on hot days it does. I was so excited about this garden, but now I am just frustrated.

The soil is frustrating me. The plot is essentially a giant sandbox. Sandboxes are great for cats, because cats love to shit in sand, and they are great for human children, but they are not great for plants.

Unfortunately, I do not own a cat or a child, so I am stuck with some sad, malnourished plants.

Well, I should go back on what I said. You see, I have been busy reading soil books, and I have been amending the soil all spring. Unfortunately, like Rome, good garden soil is not built in a day. Where I had once envisioned lush, proud, boundless, dark green foliage and ripe ripe fruits, now I am only seeing yellow.

Take a look at the bottom-most leaves of this Brandywine tomato. They are yellow. Leaves turn yellow for several reasons. I believe the cause of yellow in this case is the result of several related factors:

1) I just planted this tomato last week, and so it has not established a decent root system yet. Without a good root system, a plant cannot take up water or the water soluble nutrients it needs.

2) Even if it had developed a good root system, this plant would probably still have some yellow leaves. Why? Because this soil blows! Sandy soils are essentially empty calories. There is not very much organic matter in this soil, and it does not retain water either.

Look at this parsley! Also too yellow. What a bummer. Parsley is supposed to be dark green. I am really starting to vent now. Watch out, I'm about to blow!

Anyway, there are things I can and will do to correct some of these problems, but I am afraid this garden may become a headache. Maybe I should throw some Tylenol on it.


Anonymous said...

Well brother, for starters you have to pull out that Ca 7. Crushed Limestone will seep into your soil and kill everything. Then, I would get some Worm Castings (High Grade Worm Shit). Blend that in to the top 4 or 5". That should do the trick. The poo will give the garden nutrients, while the sand will let it drain. booyah tribe.


Anonymous said...

Opposite problem here in Indiana. I have clay. Enough clay to throw about 100 pots. I'v added a bunch of sand and organic matter, but I think this year will be an uphill battle. You should see my pathetic mustard and arugula.