New Texas Homesteader

Ridgerunner

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,832
Reaction score
8,440
Points
397
Location
Southeast Louisiana Zone 9A
Welcome from Louisiana. Glad you joined.

My suggestion is to get a soils analysis to see what nutrients are present and what you might need to add, plus the type of soil. Talk to your county extension agent abut how to do that. Then when you get the results, talk to the agent about a strategy to cope with it. Clay usually has a lot of nutrients though you may be missing certain water soluble ones. I think it helps to know what the problem is before you start fixing it. Yellowing leaves could be nutrients, especially nitrogen, and nitrogen is water soluble. Soil pH may be a problem. If the pH isn't good the plants can't get the nutrients that are there.

I don't know what your garden soil mix was like. I put in raised beds and used a lot of "garden soil" in them. I sent some off for a soils analysis, it came back with very few minerals and pH of around 8. It took a lot of additives to get he pH down and the minerals up.

I'm not sure if what you have is actually clay or is more of a silt. In some ways it sounds a lot like the swamp muck we have a lot of down here. It's extremely rich but watering is a pain. Too much or too little water can cause plants to not do well or turn yellow. Part of your problem may be more of a tilth (texture) and drainage problem. It may be more of the year. My garden hasn't done as well as it usually does, I think because the spring was unusually cool so much of the time. Some bean varieties are doing a lot better than others. The early corn was pretty bad compared to what it usually does.

Like practically everybody else I believe in adding a lot of organic matter to the soil. It obviously adds nutrients but a huge advantage to me is that if helps the texture of practically any soil. How you add that can be important. Too hot like fresh animal poop can burn the plants, I've killed tomato plants before by putting fresh chicken manure too close. Browns (carbon) can tie up what nitrogen is in the soil, the microbes eating the carbons use that nitrogen as fuel, then return it to the soil when they are done with it. I like to add already composted stuff just before and during the growing season or till that stuff in after the growing season so it can compost in place before the planting season. Mulching with organic material and tilling that in in the fall is often a winning strategy.

It's a process. It took me a couple of years to get mine close to right, especially the pH.

Good luck and once again, :frow
 

Carol Dee

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
12,102
Reaction score
16,693
Points
417
Location
Long Grove, IA
Hello, Welcome to TEG. You have some good advice from those that have similar conditions. I would be no help. Lucky to live in a part of IOWA that has wonderful rich black dirt! Although our garden lot is on an old landfill with clay cap! So yes, we added sand, compost, all type of organic matter. Put in some raised beds too. (Mainly easier on the old backs!)
 

Latest posts

Top