|top soil mixed with clay taken from our property to mix in the raised beds|
Our fickle weather had a little break of sunshine this afternoon so I got out to work in the garden. I focused on the raised beds as that's where the soil needs the most work. We bought 'garden' soil from the nursery two years ago .. and again topped off the beds last year. This mixture was void of any clay .. mostly decomposed plant matter (could be wood and manure) with sand. The beds sit on top of clay which proved to give poor drainage .. which caused a soil fungus to grow.
Last year I amended half of the beds by adding/mixing in some clay to the purchased garden soil.
|soil fungus .. it's decomposing fine wood in the soil|
The beds that had the clay added fared well and most of the fungus is gone. It did not affect the plants .. so I'm not too worried about it this year. I just want to mix in more clay and a bit of rich earth to balance out purchased soil. Today I was able to double dig to a depth of 12-18 inches down to bring up ground clay.
|vole tunnels provide good rich soil to add to the raised beds|
|the tunnels are easily scooped up|
Then I added some fresh rich soil taken from the vole tunnels in our yard. This should give our raised beds a much better blend to help break up the fungus and help it decompose the wood matter a bit faster .. aid in water drainage AND improve the soil quality. I'll deal with the voles another day.
|This soil took 10 minutes to collect .. the voles, albeit pests, serve as good soil producers|
I will test the raised beds using a soil testing kit after I finish this process. Tilling the soil will bring up more clay from underneath the planters to help give the soil better structure and drainage.