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Old 05-23-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: central Illinois
1 posts, read 10,288 times
Reputation: 16

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How in the world do I garden in this soil? I'm from central Illinois. Throw seeds on the ground here and you'll get perfect crops. I go down to our 40 acres in southern missouri with my shovel and all I dig up is sand and rock. What can ya do to get those crops to grow down there? By the way, hello everyone. First post and in time I'll be writing you from down there in the Show-Me!
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:35 AM
 
10 posts, read 38,349 times
Reputation: 10
Beats me. I'm from Northern Ill and Wis and its terrible.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Boilermaker Territory
26,404 posts, read 46,551,112 times
Reputation: 19539
Plant some trees instead. The soil in the Ozarks is not great for farming and gardening like it is in the Midwest core.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,464 posts, read 13,571,328 times
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In mid Mo, where we live, we have had to bring in top soil over the yers. Now have no problems with plantng vegetables and/or flowering plants. Took awhile, but we finally got there. Of course, we still have some rocks to contend with. Always will, I think.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Table Rock Lake
870 posts, read 3,081,296 times
Reputation: 902
Default Need some rocks??

My neighbors all made fun of me the first year we were here! I was out there chipping away at the rocks, trying to get them out, so I could plant! Not! They just multiplied!!

So, new strategy...build little retaining walls and add dirt! Like NWV says, that's your only true way to find success at gardening in the Ozarks. I did find that our native plants fare ok, without amending the soil. Things like Coneflowers, Butterfly Weed, Queen Ann's Lace and Cosmos, do fine.

If you can get most of the rocks out and add some peat moss, to start, you might end up with something good enough to start some tomatoes and peppers. Tomatoes LOVE the Ozarks! Especially "Arkansas Traveler".

Good Luck with the (axe) pickin's!!
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
3,978 posts, read 8,547,200 times
Reputation: 3779
I have tried for 24 years to be successful with gardening here. I have finally reconciled myself to just growing those things that 'like' it here :-(
I don't have that many rocks in my old garden spot, just very poor soil.
I have lost almost as many plants as what I have succeeded with.
I think if you have access to lots of 'barnyard' you can do okay. I see good gardens not far from us.
The soil I worked with in Idaho was good, and deep, like your Illinois soil.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:43 PM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,682 posts, read 12,055,966 times
Reputation: 6992
Don't know what yas are whimpering about...

When lived in the upper Ozarks, my rock garden was quite healthy.




Going down memory, albeit semi-bumpy, lane:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/misso...en-ozarks.html

As Marianinark mentioned above, finding a farm nearby that ya can befriend, gathering some of their 'fertilizer' can help too... little bit goes long way though!

Here be some other more help:
Ozark Gardens The Ozarks Garden Community Ozark Garden Community and Connections
Ozarks Magazine: Digging It
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:12 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,505,582 times
Reputation: 789
We built a garden out of the orange, rocky Ozark soil when I was younger. Basically, we tilled it up (although the tiller launched in the air a few times after hitting some huge rocks!) several times and added in a bunch of bone meal and blood meal. Tomatoes and stuff grew in it the first year no problem, but it took probably 4-5 years of having a garden in it every summer to get the soil more brown colored with lots of organics. I'm not a gardening expert by any means (although I am working on a master's degree in the engineering properties of soil ), but it worked for us after we added in a bunch of organic stuff in it, and tilled in the remains of the old plants every fall after they had died. You could also build some raised beds and import soil too for a faster way to good soil, but if you add enough stuff to the poor Ozark soil, plants will grow in it.

I should specify that tilling that hard, orange soil is VERY hard work. We have an 8 horsepower BCS gear-drive tiller and even with it it was still very tough. The rocks made it very hard and the tiller jumped all over the place...when it launched in the air when I was using it, it actually left my hands and landed on its side!
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,416 posts, read 36,987,037 times
Reputation: 15560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouriwannabe View Post
How in the world do I garden in this soil? I'm from central Illinois. Throw seeds on the ground here and you'll get perfect crops. I go down to our 40 acres in southern missouri with my shovel and all I dig up is sand and rock. What can ya do to get those crops to grow down there? By the way, hello everyone. First post and in time I'll be writing you from down there in the Show-Me!
My GG-Grandpa wrote in his Bible upon moving to the Ozarks from the fertile riverbottoms of Eastern Mo,"truly the orgin of the term 'hardscrabble farm' came from this place." The farm is still in the family, and they still heave rocks out!
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Independence, MO
543 posts, read 2,309,745 times
Reputation: 403
This site may help you out:

Gardening in the Ozarks
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