Clay soil - Knowledgebase Question

St. Michael, Mi
Question by MAV843
March 25, 2009
Good Afternoon,

We are going to plant a vegetable garden with tomatoes, green beans, carrots and lettuce,but we have clay soil. Our soil ph is about 7.5 What should we add to our soil to make our vegetables grow well? A past soil test has shown a medium soil texture and about 2.0 to 2.6 percent organic matter. Thanks-Alot ! Carolyn Varley from St. Michael,Minnesota


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Answer from NGA
March 25, 2009

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Most vegetables grow best under slightly acid conditions with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 so your soil is not too far off on the pH scale. Although your soil test shows an almost adequate amount of organic matter in the soil, the addition of more compost or aged manure will help improve the texture of your clay soil and also help lower the pH if you incorporate one pound of ammonium sulfate (nitrogen) fertilizer per 100 feet of garden area, mixing it into the top 3-4 inches of soil. The goal is about 4 percent organic matter with a slightly lower pH than your garden currently has. It takes time to build good garden loam but I think you are well on your way. Best wishes with your veggie garden.

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