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View Poll Results: What type of soil do you have most of?
Sandy 8 14.29%
Silty 3 5.36%
Clay 38 67.86%
Peaty 1 1.79%
Saline 0 0%
Loam 3 5.36%
Other - Please post below 3 5.36%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-01-2017, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Somewhere, out there in Zone7B
3,755 posts, read 4,851,158 times
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Crappy! But since that wasn't one of the choices, I chose clay. Crappy Clay!!!!
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,405 posts, read 12,373,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
I've got beautiful loamy soil because my property was once part of a large farm until it was platted as a subdivision in 1922. When I was taking my gardening course we had to bring in a plastic bag of soil from our yards. Most of the class was from the adjoining county, which is known for red clay soils. They actually thought that my soil was "bought" garden soil.
Wow SO JEALOUS. Mine is a mix of red clay and fill dirt. Not kidding. Gardening has been challenging, but I've managed to start making some decent soil out of the really bad areas.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:25 AM
 
1,169 posts, read 569,643 times
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here in Bandon, Oregon my soil is in most sites on the property an extremely sandy loam (much more sand than loam) derived from old sandstone sea cliffs and sand dunes. the sandy loam forms a rather thin layer (no deeper than 2' and generally a foot or less) over the sandstone. the soil is very acid and rather low fertility generally extremely free draining though the sandstone may form a barrier to drainage in sustained heavy winter rains resulting in temporary saturation/standing water in certain areas on the property. during the long dry (but relatively cool---75f. is a "hot" day here, LOL) summers here on the southern Oregon coast those sandy soils can become powdery dry from top to bottom and young freshly planted stuff needs to watered on a regular basis---even nominally drought tolerant species for at least their first summer in the ground or sometimes for several summers thereafter----especially in more exposed sloping sites with shallower soils. with this initial summer irrigation most all western native plants (also including plants from California, parts of the mountain areas of the American S.W. and northern Mexico), many Mediterranean species, and a variety of Australian and New Zealand plants can do extremely well with little to no additional watering once established. OTOH, plants from "summer wet" climates from eastern Asia to eastern North America often require lots more watering for more extended periods to be happy and healthy.


sadly, a number of "weedy" species find our very wet winters and very dry summers and the poor acid sandy soils to their liking and are very aggressive spreaders---gorse and scotch broom especially like it here, grow almost everywhere, and can be come HUGE individual plants---10' high or taller in some cases!!!!

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-11-2017 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
20,702 posts, read 53,579,863 times
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We live on an island in a river. Our soil is river bottom clay. When dry it is like concrete, the only way to break through it is with a pickaxe. Shovels are worthless. When wet it is slick and squishes all over the place. You cannot even walk in it very well. Dig down 18" and you hit "bedrock" which is highly compacted clay that people call bedrock. Now you need explosives to get through it. When I put in wooden posts for a fort int he woods, I dug down 18" filled the hole with water and let it sit for a week. Then I was able to dig out two to three inches and start again. When I rented a trenching machine, it went down 18" and just bounced along. I rented a bigger one with the same results. Finally I had to hire a back hoe with a very narrow bucket. They had to bring in a bigger machine with more weight and power. I have learned. All digging is now done in late spring. Once in a while I will plant a tree int he fall, but I start digging in August to plant a tree in October. Each weekend I chip away at the bottom of the hole for a few hours and fill it back up with water. It is great.

Back before our Island was purchased by Americans to be, the native Americans used to come out, dig up clay and make pottery. When we burned a bunch of brush int he front yard (before we had grass), the pile burned for two days. When it was gone, we have a giant piece of pottery for a lawn. We had to have a tracked loader drive over it to break it up then dump it in a hole in the back yard.

To have a lawn, we have to import 100 yards of compost then till it in, then we added 2" of compost on top, then we bought 10,000 earthworms and set them free. Grass grows, but not well, it is sparse and dies immediately if it gets dry. WE have to fertilize several times a year to keep the grass form dying. The worms are multiplying and seem to be helping. Maybe in 100 years we will have decent soil.

What w should have done is crape away 4' or so and import topsoil. that is what many builders do (only not 4')
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:23 AM
 
1,169 posts, read 569,643 times
Reputation: 409
[quote=Coldjensens;49514746]We live on an island in a river. Our soil is river bottom clay. When dry it is like concrete, the only way to break through it is with a pickaxe. Shovels are worthless. When wet it is slick and squishes all over the place. You cannot even walk in it very well. Dig down 18" and you hit "bedrock" which is highly compacted clay that people call bedrock. Now you need explosives to get through it. When I put in wooden posts for a fort int he woods, I dug down 18" filled the hole with water and let it sit for a week. Then I was able to dig out two to three inches and start again. When I rented a trenching machine, it went down 18" and just bounced along. I rented a bigger one with the same results. Finally I had to hire a back hoe with a very narrow bucket. They had to bring in a bigger machine with more weight and power. I have learned. All digging is now done in late spring. Once in a while I will plant a tree int he fall, but I start digging in August to plant a tree in October. Each weekend I chip away at the bottom of the hole for a few hours and fill it back up with water. It is great.

Back before our Island was purchased by Americans to be, the native Americans used to come out, dig up clay and make pottery. When we burned a bunch of brush int he front yard (before we had grass), the pile burned for two days. When it was gone, we have a giant piece of pottery for a lawn. We had to have a tracked loader drive over it to break it up then dump it in a hole in the back yard.

To have a lawn, we have to import 100 yards of compost then till it in, then we added 2" of compost on top, then we bought 10,000 earthworms and set them free. Grass grows, but not well, it is sparse and dies immediately if it gets dry. WE have to fertilize several times a year to keep the grass form dying. The worms are multiplying and seem to be helping. Maybe in 100 years we will have decent soil.

What w should have done is crape away 4' or so and import topsoil. that is what many builders do (only not 4')[/quote


wow, you indeed have a rough row to hoe soil-wise so that even nominally "easy" gardening and landscaping tasks become literally a major project. kudos to you for all your hard work. that said, you have made me much more appreciative of my soil situation even with all it's problems (shallow and low fertility, excessive wetness in some places during parts of the winter, excessive dryness all over in late summer) seems like a dream of ease and comfort for plants and people in contrast. thanks for putting things in perspective and good luck with all your gardening projects.


just goes to show that there is almost always some kind of limiting environmental factor/challenge (soil, climate) for the gardener and their plants and landscapes most anywhere.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-14-2017 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:31 PM
 
131 posts, read 54,257 times
Reputation: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
here in Bandon, Oregon my soil is in most sites on the property an extremely sandy loam (much more sand than loam) derived from old sandstone sea cliffs and sand dunes. the sandy loam forms a rather thin layer (no deeper than 2' and generally a foot or less) over the sandstone. the soil is very acid and rather low fertility generally extremely free draining though the sandstone may form a barrier to drainage in sustained heavy winter rains resulting in temporary saturation/standing water in certain areas on the property. during the long dry (but relatively cool---75f. is a "hot" day here, LOL) summers here on the southern Oregon coast those sandy soils can become powdery dry from top to bottom and young freshly planted stuff needs to watered on a regular basis---even nominally drought tolerant species for at least their first summer in the ground or sometimes for several summers thereafter----especially in more exposed sloping sites with shallower soils. with this initial summer irrigation most all western native plants (also including plants from California, parts of the mountain areas of the American S.W. and northern Mexico), many Mediterranean species, and a variety of Australian and New Zealand plants can do extremely well with little to no additional watering once established. OTOH, plants from "summer wet" climates from eastern Asia to eastern North America often require lots more watering for more extended periods to be happy and healthy.


sadly, a number of "weedy" species find our very wet winters and very dry summers and the poor acid sandy soils to their liking and are very aggressive spreaders---gorse and scotch broom especially like it here, grow almost everywhere, and can be come HUGE individual plants---10' high or taller in some cases!!!!
When you live by the coast, another issue might be the salt coming from the ocean, which would make growing things a lot harder.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:46 PM
 
1,169 posts, read 569,643 times
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Oregon911 from my experience that seems to be only be a surprisingly limited problem VERY close to the ocean itself and actual salt spray (aka the fore dunes for example where there is only limited vegetation of any kind) where very few gardens are. beyond the immediate beaches the persistent cool breezes in the summer and high velocity winds during the late fall, winter, early spring will desiccate and physically break branches so that many native and garden plants are deformed and bent away from the prevailing winds.


OTOH, there are lots of lovely and useful plants both native and exotic that indeed can tolerate coastal breezes (salty and otherwise) and do very well in quite exposed coastal gardens and for that matter the extremely sandy, low nutrient, extremely porous/excessively drained soils---even worse soil than mine!!!

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-14-2017 at 07:51 PM..
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
21,399 posts, read 19,785,462 times
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Clay with chips of flint and chunks of sandstone & lime.. and a occasional chunk of
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Old Yesterday, 10:15 AM
 
1,169 posts, read 569,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN Tin Man View Post
Clay with chips of flint and chunks of sandstone & lime.. and a occasional chunk of

doesn't sound like a very promising substrate to be getting on with so to speak. that said, the most important thing IMHO is what you can do with the soil either "out of the box" or suitably modified and "improved" you have and on this forum specifically what is able to grow there naturally and perhaps more important what you are able to grow for your own fun and profit.


FWIW, (and assuming that you are indeed living somewhere in the "great southern continent") many "Oz" natives including various eucalyptus, acacia, callistemon (now "officially" part of melaleuca) , grevillea, banksia, leptospermum, etc. seem to enjoy my less than ideal (low fertility, very acidic, shallow, very dry in the summer) soil and grow just as well and quite often better than many of the native plants.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; Yesterday at 10:28 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 10:18 AM
 
Location: USA
4,055 posts, read 4,378,041 times
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My property was a former farm, so while Clay, there is a layer of topsoil for the most part. It is relatively easy to grow grass, and shrubs, but also WEEDS! I am almost ready to Agent Orange the whole place!
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