Solving Compacted Soil Problems

Doreen G. Howard shares tips on solving compacted soil problems including the use of permanent gardening beds and building a garden microbe ecosystem.
June/July 2003
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/solving-compacted-soil-problems-zmaz03jjzgoe.aspx
Tips for solving compacted soil problems.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/ABHBAH05

Learn about solving compacted soil problems in the garden.

Solving Compacted Soil Problems

A quick permanent bed can be built by piling a 6-inch layer of topsoil, peat, composted cow manure and compost on the ground.

A 100-square-foot bed requires:
• Four 40-pound sacks of composted manure
• Two 3.4-cubic-foot bales of peat (plus 2 cups of garden limestone to balance the peat's acidity)
• Four 40-pound sacks of topsoil
• Four wheelbarrows of compost

Mix and gently mound materials; water thoroughly to stabilize the bed. Plant seeds and transplants, then mulch immediately with at least 3 inches of organic material. it will take the microbes a couple of weeks to build an ecosystem, but healthy soil will be achieved more quickly. Be sure not to compact the newly built soil in any way. After the harvest, plant a cover crop.