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Old 03-20-2007, 08:51 AM
 
174 posts, read 519,421 times
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What's with this topsoil? Triassic clay from the top down! Do you just import dirt and build raised beds? Are there native plants better suited to this soil environment? What are the good nurseries around Pittsboro?
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,594 posts, read 55,307,520 times
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You need to amend the soil with organic matter,composted manure, perma-til, earthworms, compost, lime(if appropriate), and deep tilling.
Don't improve with peat moss, as it will compact, too.
Native plants will do better.
Very good gardeners will have some success with exotics and non-native, but tried and true has a proven place.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:01 AM
 
1,531 posts, read 6,730,296 times
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If you live in a new house in a new subdivision where they simply stripped the trees off and everything on the top layer, then yeah...you'll have to deal with a lot of crappy red clay. (I hate that so many developers do that!)

Otherwise, just about anywhere else, particularly older neighborhoods with lots of trees, the organic matter falling every year should be enough to keep a decent organic layer on the top. (Unless you obsessively rake it up every year.)
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,076 posts, read 7,037,094 times
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Default topsoil

then the developers sell the topsoil and make a profit on that too.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:29 AM
 
174 posts, read 519,421 times
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Default topsoil tempest

Thanks Mike. Very useful. Looks like I'm in for some long term soil amendation projects. What is perma-til?

I'm "stumped" as to why I have so little topsoil out here in the woods. I can't blame developers. The house "grewed" out of the woods through a series of individual owners starting in '74. No commercial developer, ever. Maybe erosion (there's a slight slope?) but even in the woods, I seem to have have leaf litter on top of clay. I would expect it to have turned to loam, but no.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:47 AM
 
1,484 posts, read 3,697,700 times
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Default I have sand

In HS/fuquay I have mostly sand, luckily bermuda grass grows OK in it. Yea I hate that developers take off the topsoil. What is the reason?
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:28 PM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,155 posts, read 16,873,712 times
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>I hate that developers take off the topsoil. What is the reason?
Tigerlilly said it: developers sell the topsoil and make a profit on that too.

It's standard practice all over. I once said that to a realtor (first realtor we had down here)...he looked at me quizzically and said "...duh...I've never heard of them doing that...". Yeah. Right. We didn't stay with him for long. Never could get a straight answer out of him (not like some of the agents in this forum - you guys are putting your profession back into a good light - as my second realtor did!)
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Old 04-21-2007, 06:15 PM
 
214 posts, read 632,900 times
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So if you do have red clay under about no more than an inch of topsoil, is building raised beds the best way to garden here in NC? I tried today but got so frustrated with the heavy clay soil. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,076 posts, read 7,037,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieshel88 View Post
So if you do have red clay under about no more than an inch of topsoil, is building raised beds the best way to garden here in NC? I tried today but got so frustrated with the heavy clay soil. Thanks.
I'm in Oregon for now, but eventually will have to deal with NC clay. Clay is probably the same whether it's NC red or OR brown. LOL. I almost destroyed my knee digging in clay, and I don't have the patience for it any more. Raised beds are the way to go for me. It's initially more expensive for raised bed soil, but you're going to get great drainage and the ability to expand your planting material. Because you're plants don't have to fight to establish roots they'll grow faster. A lot of times it's not low temps that limit what you can plant but poor drainage causing roots to rot. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:31 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Tx.
33 posts, read 40,102 times
Reputation: 35
Default Sfg

Go the library an check out the book All New Square foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew mite save You some work.
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