Author Topic: "Super soil"  (Read 1759 times)

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
"Super soil"
« on: October 26, 2017, 02:42:43 AM »
Along side my garden my wife wanted to have some of those raised beds like she sees in the magazines.  So I built her a couple 4'X8'.  Then we went to a local nursery and bought truck loads of 'super soil' for the beds.  It smelled like manure when I shoveled it out. I live on a farm and my nose knows.  But I have to say these beds are not keeping up with my in- soil garden.  This so called 'super soil' does not have good structure.  There are what looks like wood chips, potting soil, and maybe some compost, ( it's all black ) but nothing that looks like dirt (actual top soil).
Here's the deal, I can water my garden and two days later the plants are fine, maybe ready for a drink, but fine,   The raised beds?  You can water them every day and they are sagging and desperate for water the next day.  The problem is this "super soil" has absolutely no moisture retention.  The water runs right down and the roots have to grab what they can as it passes. These beds need to be about 50% dirt ( real brown soil ).  That's just my opinion so far......

Offline mbcabinetmaker

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 06:23:12 AM »
I have had the same experience with both the purchased soil and raised beds.  A lot of the so called top soil sold by these companies is just ground up tree bark!  Just cant beat the good old real earth!
Mark

Zone 7B  In the Blue Ridge of Greenville County South Carolina

Raiser of New Zealand White Rabbits and Texas A&M Quail.  For my freezer only!

John Deere 670 with Land Pride 50 Tiller, Rake, Scrape and Pats Eazy Hitch, Honda F500 Tiller, Honda FRC800 Tiller, Troy Bilt Pro Line Tiller, Hoss and Planet Jr Wheel Hoes and Planter, Hook and Crook Heron, Taylor's Pea Sheller.

Offline LakeRat1

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 528
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 07:25:13 AM »
When i built my raised beds, i mixed dirt with Compost, i tried to mix it about 50/50, I also fine that moisture does not stay long in raised beds, I add extra compost when every needed, I think as compost keeps rotting it sort of goes away, I use drip tape to water my plants, i use the tape that has emitters every 8 in, and i place a tape beside each drill that i plant in a bed, if i am only placing 2 rows, like tomatoes, potatoes, peas and such, i place a tape beside each drill/row, i also place a extra in the middle if the bed, I don't open that valve until i think the roots are getting into that area, for carrots in a 4 x 8 or 4 x 16 ft bed i place 6 drills with with a tape beside each drill of carrots, i find this helps the carrots seed sprout to a more even stand

By doing it this way, u don't use a lot of water to keep the plants happy, I fine that about a hour of dripping will get it done, I can see trying to water any other way will really use a lot of water, i use a cheap timer to set up the amount of time i want to drip, each bed has a valve, & each drip tape has a valve, many time some beds need water & others don't

Rat
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 12:26:16 AM »
Next year I will try to find a way to remove half of the soil from the beds and replace that half with actual soil.  I'll just spread that "super soil" over the garden.  I understand that urban gardeners have small yards and have discovered ways to get the most from raised beds.  I can learn from you guys.

Having said that, you should see the cabbages and kale I'm growing in my soil.  There as big as washtubs.

Offline tbird

  • Global Moderator
  • Sprout
  • *****
  • Posts: 848
  • One Nation Under God!
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 11:20:32 PM »
Hey Mater you old dog! 


  When I built my 5 raised beds like yours I used 20% native top soil, 20% builder's sand, 10% peat, 10% compost, 5% worm castings and 35% of the dirt from my chicken coop floor.  I added the peat to retain moisture.  Remember that a raised bed loses water faster than ground because it is elevated and water does drain down faster with gravity.  Also the soil tends to pack less and gets warmer in raised beds in summer so it is easier to lose moisture by evaporation. 

 I just refresh my soil each year with more chicken coop dirt and worm castings.  Seems to do it. 


  BTW Mater,  I still cut my Marglobe tomatoes off to around 4" after harvesting like your grandmother told us to do some years back.  Works great for a second bumper crop.

  Take care my friend.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:25:49 PM by tbird »
God Bless and Good Gardening

Barking Dogs Farm
18.25 Acres in Central West Louisiana
Zone 8B

WJ5Y    Amateur Extra
ARES Emergency Coordinator Sabine Parish



Click for weather forecast

Offline Boudreaux in Eunice La.

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1891
  • Zone 9
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 12:19:34 AM »
Wow 2 old friends met up on the forum............   Go ahead T bird and Mater.......

I will be posting soon about some SUPER SOIL that I have been using for a long time and it is readily available if you have access.......

 More later to come when I get mine ~!~!
I'm a optimist. Pessimists think all girls are bad. The optimist hope he's right ~!~!

Click for weather forecast

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 02:26:39 AM »
Hey T Bird!

I guess I'm fairly old school as in most things. I still can't figure out all my flip phone does and everybody's telling me to get one these new smart phones. 

I am notating your recipe for soil.  I have done figured out this stuff has absolutely no moisture retention whatsoever as you have probably read.  I plan to put in a few more because my wife likes them for some reason.  Having said that, you oughta see my fall garden in the good old dirt.  I'm gonna have huge cabbages as long as there's no ice.  We're done eating collards already and more to come.  Broccoli is about to head in a couple weeks.  My parents always planted in the dirt and that's all I know, but I'm nothing if not flexible.  My wife likes those raised beds and I like to eat so there's an end to it.

My mom passed away last February at age 90.  But she would be tickled you have taken a tip from her.  I cut me some suckers from the forks of my plants in July. Mine were diseased and I didn't want to risk a repeat.  But I raised three plants from those suckers that were loaded.  One of them had 50+ tomatoes on it.  No joke.  We saved what we could before the freeze.  We wrapped them in paper and put them away in a dark cool place as advertised.  We'll see.  Never tried that before.  I transplanted a volunteer from my cherry tomato in a pot by the back porch and the tomatoes it was making were a lot bigger than cherries. I guess it reverted back to one of it's original larger ancestors.  Unfortunately, that plant froze, too. 

I really do appreciate your input Tbird. I know a lot about some things, but very little about other things.  We must glean from each other.  I hope you and yours are doing well.  I am a new grandfather, finally.  Thought it was never going to happen.  I'm over the moon!

Offline Boudreaux in Eunice La.

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1891
  • Zone 9
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 02:46:19 AM »
Mater where from ??   Since you know the Bird man you should be down south here somewhere ??
I'm a optimist. Pessimists think all girls are bad. The optimist hope he's right ~!~!

Click for weather forecast

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 11:50:22 AM »
Hi Boudreaux,

I'm about an hour west of Little Rock, AR.

Offline Boudreaux in Eunice La.

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1891
  • Zone 9
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 04:51:57 PM »
You around Perry county ??
I'm a optimist. Pessimists think all girls are bad. The optimist hope he's right ~!~!

Click for weather forecast

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 12:58:02 PM »
Conway county.  Perry county's next door to the south.

Offline tbird

  • Global Moderator
  • Sprout
  • *****
  • Posts: 848
  • One Nation Under God!
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2017, 12:32:11 AM »
Mater,  I am so sorry to hear about your Mom.  I often tell my friends about how I liked growing Marglobe tomatoes so much and then when you gave the the info your Mom passed on to us it was even better.  She had a lot of years Mater and she will have more and better ones when we all stand together young adn healthy on that day God promised.  She is and will be well remembered until we meet in the sky. 

I am also glad to hear about your grandchild.  My first one was born in 2014 and we had another one this October 2nd.  A girl first and now a boy.   Let's you and I have a "let's spoil 'em rotten" contest!   ;D

I just got my cole crops in.  Purple Top Turnips, Florida Broadleaf Mustards, Lacinto Kale and Romaine Lettuce.  Kale and Lettuce are raised beds and the rest is in ground.   This year I let raised bed summer garden grow through summer and a few weeks ago I burned it, tilled it with a hoe and garden fork before adding chicken do and worm castings.  Seems OK.   Everything seems to be growing well and hope to get consistent cool weather.   It has gotten to 27 here at night so far,  but in a couple of days it was back to 90 day and 74 night.

I hope you have a good garden up in Arkansas this year Mater,  and  I am sure glad to have you back here where we can talk.   

Spoil the grandchild Mater.  I am spoiling mine! 

I do appreciate the tips your mom passed on.  That tip she passed on to us about cutting the Marglobes down to about 4" after harvest for a second crop is alive and well in St. Bernard and Sabine Parishes in Louisiana! 

God bless and keep you and yours Mater.   ;)   

God Bless and Good Gardening

Barking Dogs Farm
18.25 Acres in Central West Louisiana
Zone 8B

WJ5Y    Amateur Extra
ARES Emergency Coordinator Sabine Parish



Click for weather forecast

Offline mater

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: "Super soil"
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 12:05:38 PM »
Thanks Tbird, it's really good to catch up. Little Rosie is doing fine and a real cutie pie.  She's up in Kansas City and the wife and I are keeping the road hot!

Best wishes to you and yours!

God bless ya'll,

Mater