Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Site Prep Questions
#156144 Nov 29th, 2007 at 09:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Hello - Just found your forum, and want to seek your advice. Thanks in advance -

My name is Kevin. I live just outside Nashville, TN. My son (10 years old) and I are going to plant a nice-sized veggie garden in our back yard next spring. Currently, the space gets lots of sun, great circulation, and is mostly level with maybe a very slight slope.

The problems as I see them, are as follows:

1. Only about 6-10 inches of soil, which is mostly hard red clay. Underneath that is rock - Lots of big rock.

2. Obviously, there is grass covering the entire yard.


So, my plan is to have a couple of loads of black topsoil delivered. My questions are:

1. Should I try to kill or remove the grass before I dump topsoil?

2. Should I build some kind of barrier around the outside edge with crossties, or landscape timber to hold topsoil?

3. Should I try to till, or breakup existing dirt, before dumping topsoil in?

Please give me your advice...

Sincerely,

Kevin

Re: Site Prep Questions
Nickellkc #156193 Nov 29th, 2007 at 11:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,685
Likes: 23
Northern Star
20k Posts
Online Crazy
Northern Star
20k Posts
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,685
Likes: 23
Hi and welcome Kevin.

It's best to either till up the grass and ground or remove the sod entirely(which is a big job). You'll also need to amend your soil by adding and mixing in peat moss and compost.

It would be hard to remove the rock but good if you can til up the clay quite a bit with the added soil and such.

If you plan to have a raised bed(from adding extra soil) you might want to put a border around~but do not use wood with the green preservative in it, it's toxic.

Hopefully someone will be in with extra advice for you, I'm not used to dealing with clay soil.


~~Tam~~Those who think country life is simple....have never lived on a farm.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Site Prep Questions
Sunflowers #156331 Nov 29th, 2007 at 06:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 30,001
A Gnome's Best Friend
30k Posts
Offline
A Gnome's Best Friend
30k Posts
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 30,001
Hi Kevin wavy ,, I live in Tx and have to deal with clay as well,, and there are a lot of rocks deep in the soil boohoo ,, WHy why I don't know .. I can only tell you my experience that was and still is successful thumbup

Just at the break of spring or right after the last frost of the year, the area I'm going to use Like Tamara said Remove the top layer taking all grass and weeds out,,( I used a wide shovel and just lifted . IT took a while but it's worth it,! Then till the area before you do anything to loosen it up.. then I took a wheel barrow and put two buckets of peat, two buckets of Compost( if you don't make your own,, purchase a humas-compost mix a couple of 40 lbs bags or more depending on the spread of area your planting in) and a couple of buckets of sheep manure composted or cow manure composted ( both can be purchased at a feed and grain store) I prefer sheep manure) mix that up pretty good and place in the area your going to till,, repeat the mixture ratio until the entire area is covered,, and Till in minimum 12 inches ~ 18 inches is better tho,, let it sit a week and till again lightly,, then sow seeds,, The two weeks enables the soil mix to " blend" per say ..
As far as the rocks go I left a lot of mine in,,( only because I got exhausted picking them out, egad .. I found it helped with drainage after all,, :wink:

Oppppppppps I just read Back and Saw how shallow the soil is before you hit big plymouth rocks,, soooo you can't till down 12 - 18 inches,, However I still recommend the additives above,, and Yes till the soil as far down as you can to loosen it,, Before amending the additives,, The richer the soil the better the growth!!

In that case yes I would Place Rail ties to make a raised bed you want at least 18 inches of good admended soil..

Ohhhh and IF your area is really large then just pour out the bags of admendments alternating them ( Probably easier than mixing in a wheelbarrow anyway,,, lol

Personally I don't use a quality top soil untill the seeds have sprouted and have developed its first set of "true" leaves,, then I will put top soil ( (Be careful purchasing top soil,, some are clumpy and clayish,, it's worth the $$ to get a quality top soil) and spread it around the seedlings,!

Keep in mind this method has brought success to me,, after trial and errors,, and using different methods, I just tried this way on my own,, and it proved successful,,

I'm sure someone else will come along and give you their own personal way of admending soil.. We all have the same basic fundemental,, tho the method to our maddness may be slight in variation,, lol


I would have to say the most important is to..
#1.Clean the area,,( removing grass and weeds)

#2, Admend the soil with humas compost or your own compost and sheep or cow manure( <-aged and composted)

#3. Have your son By your side and working with you while doing it all,, Young people take pride in planting seeds and watching it grow and eating their success veggies,,

#4, If you don't make your own compost You can learn how in our organic gardening forum,, so by spring you'll have your own,, to admend in your garden,,! making your own compost is the Best additive to any garden!! grin thumbup


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
"Grace without perfection is more to be desired than perfection without grace."
Re: Site Prep Questions
angelblossom #156651 Nov 30th, 2007 at 10:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Thank you both ~ Great information!

Re: Site Prep Questions
Nickellkc #156674 Nov 30th, 2007 at 11:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,685
Likes: 23
Northern Star
20k Posts
Online Crazy
Northern Star
20k Posts
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,685
Likes: 23
Your welcome~hope to see you around.


~~Tam~~Those who think country life is simple....have never lived on a farm.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Link Copied to Clipboard
Seasonal Ticker
Gardening Links
Gardening in August
Gardening in September
Gardening in October


Shop at Amazon and Support AGF
Are you shopping online? Click this link first and A Gardeners Forum will receive a commission for your referral at Amazon.com (shopping through this link to Amazon will not have any impact on your prices at Amazon).
Like Us on Facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums65
Topics14,205
Posts234,740
Average Daily Posts11
Members15,932
Most Online10,356
Nov 2nd, 2019
Top Posters(30 Days)
JunieGirl 109
Tina 91
Mike T 2
Random Gallery Image
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4