You might ask how how we know that we have sub par soil? We took our soil into our local extension recently and we found out what we already expected. Our soil is pathetic, lazy and vile. It is very alkaline, and there are extremely low levels of Nitrogen and phosphorous. For more information on soil testing got to this link and read the PDF articles entitled Why should I test my soil and Soil testing guide for home gardeners.
It was not a huge surprise that our soil is the equivalent to a high school version of Bill and Ted. We have talked to other gardeners in our area and they have warned us that it will take some work to get the soil up to par. The long term remedy to all of our problems is compost, compost, compost. Many of the gardeners around here use mink manure compost for their gardens.
As I researched using mink manure, I found that it is high in phosphorus and nitrogen, both of which our soil is in need of. We paid someone to bring us 7 square yards of manure that had been composted for more than 3 years with pine shavings. They dumped it in a pile on our property (see picture on left). Not only does the manure add the needed nutrients, the composted pine is supposed to reduce our soil alkalinity as well. Who knows, maybe one day our slacker, good for nothing soil might actually make something of itself.
In a future article we will show you how we prepared our first garden plot. Until then, give us feedback on what do you use to improve your garden soil?
Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes.