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gz

soil cleaning advice please

Our garden at present has seven rescue dog kennels in it, the pens are mostly slabs set on sand set on earth...although one run has neither, just undergrowth.

We're talking about Malamut Huskies....our landlady's dogs...

So when they leave for better kennels in the near future, will the site be safe for veggie and fruit gardening at any time in the future? Will it need treatment/soil clearing or something?

We're working out where to site the food garden, as we'll need to grow as much as possible to afford to stay here.....
Jam Lady

Some suggestions.

Firstly, the slabs have to be removed. Perhaps you can use them for paths around the garden beds or to create a small patio or as a base / foundation for a garden shed at some point.

Next, what is the soil like - loamy, clay, or sandy. If loamy you may just want to dig in the sand that's under the slabs. If not, remove what you can and use it under the relocated slabs.

A student of mine had worse issues after severe flooding. Here's a link to our questions and response: http://bellewood-gardens.com/2011/Flooded%20Garden_2011-10.html

In your instance I would dig the ground and plant winter rye as soon as possible. Till under in spring. Decide if you want to plant a second cover crop and put off vegetables until after the buckwheat or clover is tilled in. If this is not practical because you need to begin raising food as soon as possible would suggest no root crops, only leaf crops (lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach) and fruiting crops (tomatoes, squash - both summer and winter, beans, peas)

Perhaps cover crop some of the (former) kennel areas and plant the remainder.

Can you get bales of straw / hay. Here's a link to excellent information: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS109E/FS109E.pdf You plant directly in the bales. When the bales are too rotted to use, they become compostable and / or can be tilled right into the garden beds.

Make as much compost as you can - it is wonderful for improving sandy soil and clay soil, and should be added to good loamy soil also. As well as kitchen waste you can try asking at local cafe if you can leave a bucket for coffee grounds that you will reliably and regularly pick up. Is there a stable where you can get manure. Shredded newspaper is a good "brown" to balance the manure (but you will need lots of it.)

Hope this is of some help. Let me know if you want more suggestions.
gz

That is very helpful, JL. The slabs will mostly be removed to the new kennel compounds. The soil is good, but if the sand is dug in it wont harm.
The advice re no root crops grown direct makes sense.
Smile
Jam Lady

You're welcome gz. Keep in mind that you can grow potatoes in the straw bales I gave a link to. And after a couple of cycles - leafy greens followed by beans the first crop year for example - you should be O.K. with including root crops in the rotation.
dpack

i assume you are worried about pathogenic worms,unless you eat the turnips or whatever raw and muddy it is unlikely to be a problem,good hygiene when handling soil for a year or so is a good idea.

i recon compaction and high unresolved nitrogen compounds/potassium salts/phosphate content will be an issue for growing things. double dig and turn,add lots of organic stuff as compost,green manure and turn that into the surface or as above use a lot of straw and grow in that for a season until it has rotted down and the worms have done the digging for you.

once the soil is alive again it will probably be quite productive

or dig it out for the petermen and use it in other ways:lol:
dpack

the straw thing also works very well for squash ,pumpkins etc and if well fed with mixture can turn horrible compacted "dead"ground into decent soil in 2 yrs Wink
Falstaff

HAve you ever tried "double digging" ? - It's easier said than done - but double or even treble dig with manure etc in every level and masses in the top level will give you a wonderful growing medium. Cool
dpack

yes i have.
Falstaff

yes i have.


You're clearly a wonderfully experienced man Laughing
dpack

you probably wouldn't want to find out some of what i am experienced in but as far as soil reclamation goes i have a fair record of doing a decent job.
Falstaff

you probably wouldn't want to find out some of what i am experienced in but as far as soil reclamation goes i have a fair record of doing a decent job.
love4 Falstaff

[quote="Falstaff:1448574"]you probably wouldn't want to find out some of what i am experienced in ..................

rather less assumptive than our own eel threads may be Very Happy
Mistress Rose

Double digging needs a deep soil. Ours is rock chalk at that level. Good advice on the thread though. gz

dpack's advice is worth having....having met him and Ki,, I would listen and not disparage..

Thankyou all
dpack

your welcome,the straw thing is the easy option but it does limit what you can grow for the first couple of years. Jam Lady

Don't have to straw bale the entire site. gz

The garden is lot bigger than the kennels...just that they are on the best growing sites!
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