Ask a Question forum→Hydrophobic Soil

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Maryland
Codykai
Jun 8, 2020 9:52 AM CST
My gf and I are pretty new to gardening. I just moved in to a house that wasn't taken care of. We have a small garden out front that had some sort of thick, densely growing grass all over it and hadn't been properly gardened in in a while. We ripped out the grass and found very dry, sandy soil underneath (the land was a corn farm 20 years ago). We bought plants, dirt, and compost. We dug holes twice as large as the roots, filled with new soil, and planted the plants. We then used extra dirt to cover, not mix in to, the sandy soil and spread the compost mostly around the plants but also all over with the excess. We then decided to buy some peat moss compost and mulch. We spread the dry peat moss over everything, mostly around the base of the plants, and then spread the mulch. 3 weeks later some of the larger plants are beginning to wilt and I've noticed that when I water the plants it seems to struggle to absorb. Outside of tearing everything out, mixing dirt and compost with the sandy soil, watering heavily, and then replanting as per youtube, is there something I can do to fix the hydrophobic nature of everything?
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Jun 8, 2020 11:46 AM CST
The first thing I would do is mix a small amount (maybe 1/4 tsp) of dish soap per gallon of water and spray it on the ground then start a slow sprinkler and let it soak. The soap will break the water tension and make it go into the ground better. Many types of dirt/soil become water resistant when they get completely dry. It is best to water frequently enough and with enough volume to prevent that degree of dryness.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.

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