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Michael
I have a medium size vegie garden that the soil has had nothing added to it for 10 years. What do I do to fix

Submitted: 03:30PM, 12 Aug 2010
Answer: Dear Michael,

You will need to improve your soil so it resembles a loose, crumbly structure which is capable of absorbing and holding water and nutrients, but it should be well aerated and drain easily.

You can improve soils by adding moisture-holding materials such as animal manure, mushroom compost and garden compost. Dig through the existing soil but do not bring the subsoil up to the surface. Check the pH in case you need to add Lime to correct the pH. A good time to apply lime is after summer crops have finished and before cool-season crops are established. The pH will need to be slightly acidid (6.0 – 7.0).

When you are ready to plant your crops a pre- planting mixed fertiliser (such as Thrive All Purpose) can be added.

When growing vegetables, you will need to ensure that your vegetable have an adequate supply of water at all times. Most of the water they absorb is passed through the plant and is evaporated or transpired by the leaves. In hot, dry weather, leafy vegetables may lose several times their weight in water each day. Once vegetables are established, a deep soaking will encourage deep roots. This helps them to withstand dry conditions for longer periods.

Mulching vegetable beds, especially in summer, will greatly reduce loss of soil moisture. The best mulching materials for vegetable beds are garden compost, well-rotted animal manure or lucerne hay.

Hope you enjoy growing your vegetables this season.

Answered: 03:36PM, 17 Aug 2010

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