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Re: Re: soil test results


> From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> I find that with the spring working of the soil, it stays nice
> throughout the season... but the following spring I am right back
where
> I started. It is like the good soil is sinking and that hard clay
is on
> top.. 
> Anyone else notice that?
----------

What's really happening is that the organic material is getting used
up by the microscopic critters that digest it and rain striking a
basically clay soil will create a hard sort of surface if there is no
layer of organic material to soak it up and stop it from pounding on
the clay. Clay particles are very fine with very small spaces between
them, so the action of weather tends to beat the particles together
and close up the spaces.  The clay is always there, it doesn't go
away, it's just that the organic material changes the texture; keeps
it more open.

It takes fantastic amounts of organic material to really change a
heavy clay soil into a loam...plus some coarse sand or fine gravel.
Takes Ma Nature a thousand years (or many hundred) to create lovely
loam.  We can do it faster, but it takes a lot of effort and a lot of
organic material.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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