Monday, May 3, 2010

Amending Soil and Maybe Working Out Some Aggression?

Via Facebook wall post, afternoon of May 1st. I was back at the farm, recovering from an early morning, a long day, and hideously hot weather at the Purcellville farmers' market. This provided a nice distraction.

Q. Do tomatoes do OK in soil that has a lot of clay in it? I mixed in some good, rich potting soil and chopped it up with a pickaxe.

A. Love the image of you amending soil with a pickaxe! Short answer, IF you added enough non-clay ingredients in a deep/wide enough area, you should be okay. Long answer, I'll ramble at you in great detail when I'm not stuck with text messaging! [side note: Facebook Mobile, while slightly better than nothing, is a huge pain in my ass]

Q. How deep?

A. About a foot deep, to be on the safe side. The long answer part of all this, that I couldn't fit into a text message, was that if you have clay soil surrounding it on all sides and you only dig a big enough area for the size of the root system on the mature plant, you're basically just creating a nice little flowerpot within the ground--drainage is still going to suck, and your roots will likely become waterlogged. If you're amending, amend a very large area around the plant. It'll come in handy anyway, and your tomatoes will thank you. The same applies, even more so, if you're planting perennial stuff like rose bushes or fruit trees.

Q: [Not really a Q, but otherwise it doesn't line up all nice and neat!] Thanks!!! Pickaxe = all I could find after Mike cleaned the basement.

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