Originally posted by Hazelnut
reply to post by jibeho
Since you mentioned "good soil" do you remember what your grandpa did to make into black gold? And how long it took him?
One key to good soil is nourishment through plenty of well rotted organic matter. Horse manure, farmyard manure, compost etc.
If your soil is clay based, it will be quite heavy, and will benefit from some lightening of its structure. Organic matter will lighten the soil, as
will adding some sand.
Acidity is also an important factor, with most vegetables prefering an alkaline soil. You can get ph testing kits from garden shops/centres, and add
lime to the soil if it is too acidic.
I'm no expert and someone will likeley give you much better tips, but I hope this helpsa little at least!
Regarding the original posting, I too am a novice gardener, with this being my first year of 'proper' gardening. I've filled my head with
information as much as possible, and though that has proved useful, I've learned that to be a seriously good gardener, you need the kind of knowledge
that only comes with experience!
I've had mixed results accross a wide range of vegetables: a monumental harvest of peas, early potatoes, salad, beans and soft fruit. There is a bed
full of great onions coming up to harvesting, and the root veg seems to be doing ok. Main-crop potatoes however have been ruined by blight, a
spring-planted damson tree wilted within a couple of months of planting, celeriac bulbs are tiny piddly little things, and tomatoes have been very
mixed (5 varieties, some doing great, others terrible.)
The thing is, with the exception of blight stricken potatoes, I reckon that the other failiures could have been prevented, or at least mitigated
through various measures. It seems a case of trail and error - learn what works and what doesn't work, make mistakes and learn from them. You can't
learn it from a book, and you can't learn it overnight.