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making new garden - how deep should the loam be?

Posted by jbrooks544 NE US (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 14:58

Hi, I'm making a new garden, approximately 30' x 40'. The soil is just sand with scant pine litter on part of it, nothing I'd try to improve or use for veggies, etc. My plan is to buy as much screened loam as I need, and just raise the whole area. How deep should I make the loam? Do I need to loosen up the underlying sand at all, by rototilling it? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

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RE: making new garden - how deep should the loam be?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 15:12

Sand never ever needs any rototilling or tilling for that matter. In fact, you will see that it comes up year after year, through the loam, until you have to put down much more than you thought you needed.

Which brings me to the second point: buying the loam will cost you a pretty penny. We are probably talking about 1200 cuft minimum. Of this one foot depth, about 2/3 will sink into the sand over time, making it a four inches raised bed. In a nutshell, you need much more compost than a guy with clay soil. But, sandy soil allows easy weeding, and is ideal for layering (lasagna) methods.

In my sandy soil, I have put down about one ft of wood chips in my flowerbeds, about 1.5 ft in the older garden (it does have very nice soil now), and about 10 inches in the new garden (soil good but still improving). Find a way to use large amounts of mulch or make large amounts of compost.

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