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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old May 11, 2016   #1
Kazedwards
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Default Drainage

Anybody have an easy way to improve drainage? I started to dig the holes to transplant a week and a half ago and it was to wet to put plants out. It was more for spacing anyway but now after the few rains we have had the last few weeks I could go fishing in these holes. It take 3 to 4 days for them to dry out. Some of the holes 12-18" deep due to digging rocks out. Would half composted leaves be enough amend at planting? I know once July hits and we start to get less rain it will be a plus but I don't the plants sitting in water until then. Any help would be great.


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Old May 11, 2016   #2
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If it is that bad all you will do is kill them by planting out.

You can plant on berms but then they dry out too fast in the summer.
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Old May 12, 2016   #3
Kazedwards
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If it is that bad all you will do is kill them by planting out.

You can plant on berms but then they dry out too fast in the summer.
Worth


I never thought of berms. This will be the first year in that area. The main garden has poor drainage too but not that bad. It has rained a lot and ground is pretty saturated. My property is fill soil from when they leveled out the land for the neighborhood. Also it is thick clay. I had hoped it would be better soil due to the area being part of the field that is behind my property but the top soil has not built up since they leveled it. I was also thinking of digging down farther then back filling with compost but that makes my back hurt just thinking about.
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Old May 12, 2016   #4
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Expanded shale is supposed to hold both air and water, and last for a decade or more.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussi...s-mainly-links
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Old May 12, 2016   #5
Kazedwards
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Here is a picture of the area. That last time it rained was early yesterday morning.


Thanks for the help everyone.


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Old May 12, 2016   #6
BigVanVader
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I'd suggest raised beds filled with a very light soil mixture to speed draining.
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Old May 12, 2016   #7
Kazedwards
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Here is a pic from the main garden.



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Old May 12, 2016   #8
Kazedwards
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I'd suggest raised beds filled with a very light soil mixture to speed draining.


That's kinda what I did with the main garden. The thing is that we are planing on moving in the next year or two and I don't want to invest that much into it. Topsoil around here is like $20 a square yard and it would take a lot.
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Old May 16, 2016   #9
bower
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Zach you can build a raised bed just by ditching the bed on both sides and piling the soil on top. Lots of work but it will help two ways: raise the roots above the standing water, and also provide a drain for the water to run away.
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Old May 16, 2016   #10
Kazedwards
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That's how I started in the main garden. I called them raised rows. Yesterday I dug down farther in the really bad spot. Maybe 2 1/2 to 3 feet down and I broke through some thick clay and could almost watch the water drain. I then amended it with composted leaves and top soil. All of the other spots dried out decently. That was about a day and half after a heavy rain. I think it will do ok plus I plan on mounding in the area. A few feet away from there I found a really big rock I couldn't get out. It was a foot under the soil line and a couple feet wide and who knows how deep. I think that is some of the drainage problem in that area.


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Old May 16, 2016   #11
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Yes to the leaves. Did Kansas City receive the soaking rains that we had , if so the ground is still super saturated. Soil building takes many years. I think you will be fine with what you have for the short term and get a decent yield.

- Lisa
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Old May 16, 2016   #12
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Quote:
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Zach you can build a raised bed just by ditching the bed on both sides and piling the soil on top. Lots of work but it will help two ways: raise the roots above the standing water, and also provide a drain for the water to run away.
Thats what I did at our rental a few years back, worked like a charm.
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Old May 17, 2016   #13
Kazedwards
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Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
Yes to the leaves. Did Kansas City receive the soaking rains that we had , if so the ground is still super saturated. Soil building takes many years. I think you will be fine with what you have for the short term and get a decent yield.

- Lisa


Last week we did. Last weekend it started to dry out some but has rained for the last two days.
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