Compost - Knowledgebase Question

Greenville, PA
Question by cwjeepster
December 11, 1999
I AM LOOKING FOR A WAY TO RICHEN MY SOIL AND ALSO STOP MY SOIL FROM BEING SO HARD. IT SEEMS TO BE TO FINE,,, PACKS DOWN TO EASILY, DOESN'T STAY FLUFFY ENOUGH... I WANT TO FIX SOIL NATURALLY SO COMPOSITING IS THE BEST WAY, BUT HOW DO I SPEED UP THE PROCESS OF COMPOSITING...
I WAS TOLD DISH SOAP HELPS... I GUESS IT DOES
BUT I HAVE A GARDEN THAT 100 FT BY 70 FT ALL THE SOIL IS BAD... I NEED TO CONDITION SOIL QUICKLY, AND LARGE AMOUNTS. IM NOT AFRAID OF WORK BUT JUST NEED A FASTER PROCESS


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Answer from NGA
December 11, 1999

0

The best way to imporve most problem soils is to work in ample quantities of organic matter such as compost, chopped leaves, aged stable manure and bedding, or whatever organic materials you can find locally. A layer twelve inches deep is not too much to add at a time! For a clay based soil you might also add a small quantity of sand along with the organic material. If you do this every year in fall and/or early spring and use an organic mulch every summer, eventually your soil will become workable and your plants will thrive. Another aspect to consider is running some basic soil tests to find out more about your soil. Then you can add other amendments such as lime or fertilizer if needed. Your County Extension (662-3141) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

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