How do you deal with clay soil

Discussion in 'General Outdoor Growing' started by guerrilaWarior, May 20, 2009.

  1. May 20, 2009 #1

    guerrilaWarior

    guerrilaWarior

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    Whats your favorite way of dealing with a clay based soil :

    raised bed ?

    adding gypsum ? compost ? sand ? other ?

    digging hole ? size ?

    thanks
     
  2. May 20, 2009 #2

    SherwoodForest

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    I'm dealing with that right now. I just dig it all out of the hole and use it to build a ring around the plant. Then I fill the hole part way with some good soil and plop the plant in then more good soil. I like a big 2 foot deep hole and maybe 2 to 3 feet wide. But that's because I'm dealing with insanely hard soil. In a gorilla grow, it's hard work man, you gota put alot of energy into a grow that requires big holes and better soil. I only have to lug stuff a few hundred feet, god forbid I had to go much further. Just man up and get busy with the pick and shovel. The more hard labor you invest in your grow the better the grow will end up.;)
     
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  3. May 20, 2009 #3

    Sir_Tokie

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    I try to work sand, compost and top soil into the clay to loosen everything up. Try to make my holes 2 foot deep by 3 foot across. Gypsum is not a good additive you should use dolomite lime instead. By making a raised bed you will still have to loosen the "clay" beneath the beds by turning everything together or else your roots won't bore deep and the beds will retain water...take care..
     
  4. May 20, 2009 #4

    umbra

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    humic acid and lime are the 2 most effective products. once you understand how clay is formed, understanding how to work with it is easy.
     
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  5. May 20, 2009 #5

    Sir_Tokie

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    Very cool link umbra thank you for sharing it:) ...take care..
     
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  6. May 20, 2009 #6

    guerrilaWarior

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    i've read that gypsum and lime are a long term solution ( take about 3 years ) to deal with clay soil..

    Would Humic acid would be a (instant) short term solution ?

    thanks everyone
     
  7. May 20, 2009 #7

    umbra

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    Of course gypsum and lime are the same thing, just different forms of calcium. When I applied humic acid to my yard it took 2 application with a hose sprayer to see noticeable improvements. I did the applications 2 weeks apart. So to answer your question, it depends how bad the soil is. Humic acid is a long term solution that will begin making improvements immediately.
     
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  8. May 20, 2009 #8

    guerrilaWarior

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    What dosage gave you the best result ? humic acid in powder or liquid form?
    Did you add compost or draining material to your soil ?

    Thanks bro i really appreciate your help
     
  9. May 21, 2009 #9

    umbra

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    its a liquid. 1 liter bottle. dolomite and humic acid no other amendments. my lawn is very thick and lush.
     
  10. May 27, 2009 #10

    guerrilaWarior

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    I've kept only the darkest, less compacted clay and i've add about 50% of compost from under a dead tree trunk and some semi-composted tree trunk (look like a mix of dark brown dirt, peat moss and wood and bark pieces)

    I've then add about a handful of dolmite lime, about 50g of osmocote 14-14-14 and about 500g of ''diamond black ganulated humic acid from G.H.''

    threw the mix in some 2feet by 1 feet hole that are filed to form a small mount

    and soak the soil with water from the near by lake ( ph tested betwen 8.0 and 8,5 ) and liquid humic acid (a lil bit higher than recommented dossage)

    Both the granulated (35% humic acid) and the liquid (15% humic acid) are from leonadite sources)

    I was about to transplant in about 5-7 days so i can still modify my soil or fix some flaws. I'll keep you updated

    Any recommendations or sugesstions would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks in advance

    peace
     
  11. May 27, 2009 #11

    smokingjoe

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    :yeahthat: liquid gypsum makes life really easy too!
     
  12. May 27, 2009 #12

    docfishwrinkle

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    holy chit 8-8.5 from a lake. is it a salt water lake. joking, but that there is a recipe for lockout for sure. only way that water will do is if your soil checks 2b around 5 i believe. umbra is this correct?
     
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  13. May 27, 2009 #13

    umbra

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    yeah doc. humic acid is much more effective at higher ph readings, so it will help. but wow that water is wacked.
     
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  14. May 27, 2009 #14

    guerrilaWarior

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    the water i've tested was took from the shallow part of the lake ( huge swamp like lake ) i'll try testing water from hte deeper part of the lake

    i thought that the composted tree trunk and the fertiliser will make the soil more acidic so i thought that the handful of lime and the regular (1-2 week) watering (Ph:8.0) with half dose of fertiliser would buffer the p.h..

    - What do you think about dead tree trunk as a source of compost ?

    -Whats a cheap effective way of testing ph of the soil

    -Should i add ph down in the water?

    -Anything else i should fix?

    Thank a lot !!
     
  15. May 30, 2009 #15

    guerrilaWarior

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    Anyone? please
     
  16. May 30, 2009 #16

    SherwoodForest

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    The tree compost sounds good as long as it's not a tree containing bad stuff. I've heard some oak is bad news. Also under the tree mulch can be bad if it's from some pine trees, very acidic I believe. Test the soil and I would get a good ph kit for the water, and you can treat it with ph down or just let it set out for 24 hours and retest.
     
  17. May 30, 2009 #17

    guerrilaWarior

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    thansk sherwoodForest!
    Its from some maple tree and dosent smell bad at all... at first i was scare about the pathogen and bad stuff but the trees dont look like sick trees..
     
  18. May 30, 2009 #18

    420benny

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    Maple trees are the best. Look for rotted leaves=yummy. Black walnut trees are the worst. They put out a chemical that prevents other plants from growing under or near the tree.
     
  19. Jun 1, 2009 #19

    KushBlower12

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    **** alot of you guys are growing in clay based soils.. that sucks. I recommend not growing it in there, not worth the effort in ammending the soil. Just bring in your own bags, save you some time and your herb will be better. Ive seen what clay bud is like, and it aint pretty
     
  20. Jun 1, 2009 #20

    docfishwrinkle

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    i agree w/ you on bringing in soil for this year. after harvest id spray humic acid & or gypsum to native soil to get it ready for next crop. once you boost ur soil up youll never have to worry about lugging bales & bales of soil. i have also used this tea for years @ end of season.

    1 can beer-releases nutes locked in soil
    1 can regular cola-wakes up microbes
    1/2 cup dish soap-helps soften soil & a bug deterant
    mix w/ 20g water

    in spring @ least a month b4 planting lay thick blanket of mulch then spray w/ this
    1 can beer
    1 can cola
    1 cup baby shampoo
    1/2 cup ammonia-nitrogen boost & gets microbes turning mulch into food
    1/4 cup instant tea granuals-tannins in tea help uptake of nutes
    mix w/ 20g water
     

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