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Difficult soil.. prep?

Discussion in 'Composting & Soil Building' started by RickF, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Apr 4, 2018
    bobm

    bobm Garden Addicted

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    Rick F. what you have is known as "hard pan" . On our 20 acre ranch outside of Fresno, the hard pan is situated from on the soil surface ranging down to 5 feet down. It can be as thick as an inch to 12++ inches thick. The San Juaquine Valley was a high desert before water canals were brought in for irrigation. The first orchards were planted in the 1950s, but they had to drill 1-2 in holes in the soils down to about 4 feet down, drop sticks of dynamite down the tree row lines and set the dynamite off to break up the hard pan, then level the dirt back in and plant the orchard trees. Now, on my ranch, I hired 3 D9s to rip the soil down to 3 feet, then level the land with a land plane , then planted pastures. I have 2 acres of land cut off the rest of the property by a creek for our house site, so I had a bob cat drill 3 side by side holes down to 42 inches which were through the hard pan to sandy soil benieth that depth. However, there was an area where I had to use a wrecking bar and a shovel to dig down to 5 feet to get through it. I then planted 100 Redwood trees ( now 30-40 feet tall and doing well ) as well as several types of fruit trees. I also installed 4" sewer line pipe down to 42"( sewer line pipe is 10 feet long , so cut into 3 pieces ) depth into the holes before I back filled, then installed an underground drip system to all of the trees with the drip emitters at the top of the sewer line pipes. This forces the trees to grow their roots far down to get water moisture as well as a better and deeper root anchor system. I hope that this helps you .
     
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  2. Apr 5, 2018
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    Wow that is dedication. So, does the hard pan break up and get mixed with the sandy soil? Or is it removed?
     
  3. Apr 5, 2018
    RickF

    RickF Deeply Rooted

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    Thanks.. I dug some pretty deep holes in the aforementioned raised planter and didn't seem to find any caliche at least beyond about 2' down and drainage seemed vastly better. We'll see.. I'll have to do some toying around in the first holes I dug.. As long as I dont sleep walk outside and fall in them...
     

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