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need help with gardening

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posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:48 PM
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I moved to a rural southern texas small city. I have never had a problem gardening until the past 3 years. I have a in ground garden, the ground is bedrock and sandstone, the family that owned the home before me had a garden and I have been trying to use it. First the dirt smells bad, kinda like sewage, can I fix the dirt with adding minerals try to balance? Then something happen last year that never happen before adn I been gardening ever sense i was a little one, it got infested with garden mites, is this because of the dirt? did I over water it?
Lastly, everyone knows texas has been suffering a couple years of drought, add to that the fact where I live in normal years has the lowest percepitation in the state of texas, yet it is humid, not as bad as houston, but far mroe then one would expect for a desert type region. the dirt is hard from the summer baking heats, it is recommended to give the garden 1 to 2 inces a week, how do i determine how much is an inch? and woulndt i water more often considering the excessive heats we get? last summer we saw many many 107 up to 113 days.
Thanks for any help I need to master gardening here in this area, before the possiblity of time running out/before TSHTF
.




posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


Setup a sprinkler system and place a rain gauge to determine the amount of inches you have achieved, from then you should be able to put it on a timer.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


Take a sample to your local agricultural extension office.....if they do not test it there, they will tell you where to go to have it tested.

That will tell you exactly what you need to add, right down to the gram.

If you will not do that, u2u me, and I will tell you how to amend the soil from 1000 miles away

edit on 29-1-2012 by radpetey because: I have always sucked at grammer!



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


Have you tested the soil? Contact your local extension office. They can help you do soil tests and give you information about your local agriculture, answer questions about watering, pests, etc.

This link will help you find one:
Cooperative Extension System Offices

I call mine all the time. They have been great with area-specific information. Hope that helps.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:09 PM
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Is the smell year-round or does it begin in the Fall? It could be a small sewage leak or an anaerobic bacteria problem due to poor drainage. You could get a soil sample analyzed for microbial growth as well as PH. To test for drainage issues, dig a hole about a foot deep, fill it with water and let it drain completely. Fill the hole with water again, and if it takes longer than four hours you have poor drainage. Try to find a local gardening club/forum... Craigslist? Anyway, they will be more familiar with the gardening nuances of you area. Good luck!



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:12 PM
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As far as watering is concerned, look into water drip irrigation, much more efficient, as well as mulching. Just use good quality mulch as a lot of mulches contain fungi, diseases, and other crap.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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I recommend reading Rodales composting guide.

You can definitely fix the soil to be more useful.

There was a guy in the book that added the right components and the next growing season the soil was very fertile.

You might be able to find it at the library, this is where I found it and have ordered it ( right before viewing this post as a matter of fact).

www.amazon.com...=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327867906&sr=8-1-spell

I post it from amazon as its the cheapest I could find new (was searching for it used, but I guess its too good to be sold in a thrift store or any of the garage sales I've been to).

It starts out with the history and science behind it, I recommend reading it from begging to end, the theory in it is quite good.

You will want to start sooner rather than later as the bacteria for composting needs a solid 55 degrees F to start for a warm compost (which can take as little as 2 weeks to complete). Having the theory down, prior to the end of frost (well not sure about Texas) will help out immensely.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


Make compost and buy some good top soil in to cover the stuff if you are not happy with it...



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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The other posters have given you excellent advice. I bought a bug-out place on the Texas / New Mexico state line in the panhandle. It has been super-dry out here (only 4 inches of rain all last year). I grew a garden without ever having done it before, so I know less than you. Because we are out on the open prairie, I found that I couldn't grow strawberries or beefsteak tomatoes, because the rabbits and birds would eat the fruit overnight. I tried to fence them off but then the moles would come and dig from underneath and eat the roots, killing the plants. My corn became infested with these nasty little worms and the whole crop was destroyed. I had some luck with green peppers and green beans, but I planted them in a coffee can with the top and bottom cut out, so it would hold more water. The coffee can extended maybe 4 inches above the ground. It also helped when the plant was smaller because nearly every day here it is windy, sometimes exceedingly so.

What I found that grew exceptionally well were jalepeno peppers (no critters or bugs will touch them), broccoli, and onions. I also have a drainage problem and a drought problem. I would water the plants with a drip irrigation line, and as I would pull weeds, I would notice how deep down the moisture went. If it was nice and moist down at least 5 inches, it was good and I could stop watering until it evaporated. If the ground was dry an inch or two down, the plants cannot grow deep roots and they would be stunted. Part of my garden was a drain problem, and part was sandy and the water leeched away in a hurry.

I don't want to use pesticides but the traditional "green" methods of keeping the bugs out didn't work (like spraying the plants with soapy water...the bugs acted like it was bath time and kept on destroying my plants). Everything is so dried up, they converged on my garden like it was an oasis. I may have to go with pesticides this year although I will use them as sparingly as possible because I eat what I grow.

Good luck on your garden, and I'm gonna need luck on mine, because it appears that we will be in a drought pattern until at least 2020 (according to NOAA).



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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Sounds to me like you found a leechbed from an underground septic system.
If you don't have a septic system, then it could be an old outhouse cover ground.

Pending your response, I would definitely recommend doing an "above-ground" garden.

Then you can control what soil you use, what the pH is, and moisture.
But you probably already know that...






posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:26 PM
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Thanks everyone for your reply, special thanks to the replier from Texas know I no it isn't me its the conditions. I know I have a septic tank, now I need to investigate the smell with an idea of what it is. I think im going to use containers instead of inground this year while fixing the ground dirt. And ya Texas has the worse garden pest problem I've ever encountered. Ty all



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


One other recommendation.......... use red cedar oil on your garden.

It is organic, and is a great contact insecticide for most garden pests with an exoskeleton.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 09:53 PM
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buy some water absorbers it might be a life saver and as long as you don't get it wet it will keep also put a ground cover like pine straw down to keep direct sun of the base of the plant.

the gardeners friend



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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Dirt will smell like sewage if it has a lot of water-soaked organic waste that is water-logged.

For a "normal" garden, the 1 to 2 inches of water can be determined with the 10 second shiney rule. Water and count how many seconds the water's "shiney" shows on the surface. Water until the shiney lasts exactly 10 seconds.

If I had your garden, first I would do a double-dig (French Intensive Bio-Dynamic Gardening). One garden I had a clay soil so did the double-dig followed by a double-dig under that. My gardening 'pit' was about 4 foot deep. I threw in small tree limbs, then branches, then leaves. I sprinkled gypsum over the leaves (gypsum for clay soils, you don't need it.) Then, I put some soil on top of that and alternated leaves and soil after that. Then I put in dolomitic lime to raise the soil PH and let the garden rest over Winter before I planted the next Spring. You may have an alkaline soil already so do not add dolomitic lime if you have an alkaline soil. Buy a PH meter at your garden store.

Desert gardening tricks, planting in the furrows and use the raised row beds as wind breaks. Planting in a furrow helps the garden retain more water, and the raised beds as windbreaks also protect the soil from air-drying quickly. Mulch, mulch, mulch.


edit on 29/1/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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Yes it needs first to be tested, if you are unsure of how to do it properly call your local extension office first on how to get the right samples of the soil to be tested.

If $ is a problem then may I suggest doing something in planter boxes, straw, large pots, a kiddie swimming pool of sorts with plenty of drainage holes or really anything your imagination can dream up or another area until you do get the soil tested and amended. Follow your intuition, have it tested before you plant straight into the ground.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by antar
 


im definitely going with containers this year, I found a leechline runs about 1 1/2 ft under the garden, I will move the garden to the other acre, (I bought the side acre this past summer). There is no septic on this land, seems the most reasonable answer. ty



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:07 AM
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I have a co worker in Israel. His family runs a successful produce stand there. They have no soil at all, just sand and rock. Every two weeks when he gets paid he buys plastic pipe and drip irrigators and extends the family garden further into the desert. Nothing touches the ground and they are doing very well by the standards there.



posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


I tested the soil brought the results to our local lawn and garden shop, the soil is overused, the prior owners never fertilized it and used it for 6 years. I bought new top soil, fertilizer and sand, im going with buckets and containers while I fix the soil. I'm also going to start a compose area. Ty all you gave great advice



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