Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gardening Don't: Soil Airflow and Drainage

I made a silly gardening mistake with the soil that was leftover from filling our raised beds. I knew we would need it for additional plantings in our yard throughout the spring and summer and I didn't want it to grow a layer of weeds, so I put a tarp over the pile. Unfortunately, the tarp was also under the pile. After several weeks of heavy rains with occasional hot days, the soil that started out with a fresh manure and bark chip scent has gained a distinctly rotten odor. The lesson here is, make sure your soil has a way to drain water out, and get air in! I can't believe that I really didn't think anything of piling my soil on a tarp, and forgetting about it for a while. I don't think I'll make this mistake again.

I think the soil WILL recover, with time, but I don't know for sure if I ought to do something to it to make it a better planting medium. I did a Google search for "rotten soil" and apparently that is a song title. I am going to just add some compost, let it dry a little, and hope for the best! Any tips are welcome.

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