Green Manure for Florida Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Palm Harbor, FL
Question by carlson6
February 5, 1998
I used to live in the Northeast - the Florida soil is VERY different. I just purchased a 4 acre piece of land with about a 1/2 acre garden. The soil looks like it's one step away from beach sand. What should I use to build it up?? Should I use a cover crop? If so what?


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Answer from NGA
February 5, 1998

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I had the same problem with my soil, here in Jacksonville, when I started out. I improved it with adding all the organic matter I could find. Green manure or cover cropping is wonderful. Plant, then till in annual rye, southern peas, clover and even weeds to improve your soil. When turning under weeds, turn them under before they form seeds.

If you do not have a compost pile, start one using non-meat
kitchen scraps, leaves, manure (horse, cow, chicken), plant
residue that is not diseased.

If you have a lot of leaves or other organic matter, you can
sheet compost them. Spread them over your plot and turn
them under. Wait two or three weeks for them to rot before planting your garden.

Keep adding organic matter during the year. It won't be long
before you have a good soil. I think my soil is some of the
best anywhere. What's more, I have fun making it better.

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