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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 9, 2022   #1
Jbro1984
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Default Best drainage amendment?

Last year I skipped/forgot to till and the soil was compacted and flooded ruining my whole season. I plan on tilling this year but want to add something to aid in drainage. 12x12 plot. Maybe an inch or two of compost or peat moss? What types/brands of compost are recommended?


Thanks
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Old May 10, 2022   #2
seaeagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbro1984 View Post
Last year I skipped/forgot to till and the soil was compacted and flooded ruining my whole season. I plan on tilling this year but want to add something to aid in drainage. 12x12 plot. Maybe an inch or two of compost or peat moss? What types/brands of compost are recommended?


Thanks

Any kind of organic matter. I use leaves and pine needles and compost. Egg Shells are good. Instead of peat you might be better off using coco coir as it drains very well.


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Expert-Ga...-Mix/926142788


Here is a link that might help, but do not use biosolids ,,,,,,ever!


https://extension.umd.edu/resource/o...oil-amendments
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Old May 11, 2022   #3
simmran1
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seaeagle has all the right answers, but I would emphasize leaves. Fall leaves are free and contain
minerals from the deep. Gather leaves and run over them with your mower and save them. Till your ground once and then add a bag of leaves and till them in. Your drainage will improve immediately and you will have an abundance of free micro-nutrients as well.
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Old May 11, 2022   #4
Jbro1984
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Originally Posted by seaeagle View Post
Any kind of organic matter. I use leaves and pine needles and compost. Egg Shells are good. Instead of peat you might be better off using coco coir as it drains very well.


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Expert-Ga...-Mix/926142788


Here is a link that might help, but do not use biosolids ,,,,,,ever!


https://extension.umd.edu/resource/o...oil-amendments
No additives needed for coco coir? See it labelled at PH neutral just want to make sure. Also, any nutrient requirements as it breaks down? Not going to over saturate Nitrogen or anything?


Thanks
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Old May 11, 2022   #5
paradajky
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Any concerns with salt content of coco coir? I know some of the brands require rinsing before using in a container application, especially the cheapest ones, but not sure whether this would be an issue in actual ground.
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Old May 11, 2022   #6
seaeagle
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No additives needed for coco coir? See it labelled at PH neutral just want to make sure. Also, any nutrient requirements as it breaks down? Not going to over saturate Nitrogen or anything?


Thanks
If you are adding it to topsoil you should fertilize like you normally do. Coco coir has little if any nutrients. Please refer to this thread for valuable information.


http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=43979
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Old May 11, 2022   #7
seaeagle
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Any concerns with salt content of coco coir? I know some of the brands require rinsing before using in a container application, especially the cheapest ones, but not sure whether this would be an issue in actual ground.

I have no concerns about salt in the Expert Gardener brand. I use it all the time and have never rinsed it. But if you want to be on the safe side you can either test it or just rinse it From the same thread I posted above




https://www.walmart.com/ip/Expert-Ga...lock/926142788


This is made by PlantBest in Canada and rebranded with the Walmart brand. It is pre-rinsed using no chemicals.


https://plantbest.com/


Someone did an analysis on it and it had less salt than tap water. I did not rinse mine. One less step



Expert Gardener Coco Coir is selling at my local Walmart. Brought it home for testing against 2 other highly rated coco coirs from Amazon. Sourced near the oceans, coco coir has salts that often need to be washed out prior to use. After pouring reverse osmosis water through, Expert Gardener measured with the least dissolved solids: Triumph Plant Coco Coir Bricks $16.95 for 6.26 lbs: 939 ppm (Poor, needs lots of washing) Coco Bliss Premium Coconut Coir $19.89 for 10lbs: 594 ppm (Ok, needs more washing) Expert Gardener $7.97 for 8.25lbs: 119 ppm (Very Good) Keep in mind, tap water is typically 200+ ppm so if you're not using reverse osmosis water, this is perfect out of the package.
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Old May 11, 2022   #8
Jbro1984
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Originally Posted by seaeagle View Post
If you are adding it to topsoil you should fertilize like you normally do. Coco coir has little if any nutrients. Please refer to this thread for valuable information.


http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=43979
Looking to mix with compost in topsoil. Originally I scraped off 8 inches of clay and filled it with a local company's "Super soil Mix' which Ive been happy with but have never amended or added to it since. Probably 6 years ago.

What would be a good ratio? What would be a good amount? Say 2 inches (one inch coir, one inch compost, etc)? 2 inches enough? Any type of compost better than others or things to stay away from?



Thanks everyone for the help!
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Old May 12, 2022   #9
seaeagle
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I couldn't tell you how much to add because it depends on your soil. You could test it by mixing your soil with whatever amendment you choose in a nursery pot in different proportions to get drainage you are satisfied with.


Here are some videos



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waQADcf2mY8


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS7qQVOzK7g


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0feB5WwUgMQ


Adding organic matter every year is the best way to accomplish this
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