Fixing my soil?
New here, and I'm just starting to garden again after some years away from it.
I dug out a small island bed in my tiny front yard. Knowing that our native "soil" is sandy, and we're heading into the heat of the summer soon, I selected some plants that are supposed to be drought-tolerant & do well in "well-drained soil".
Curious to see just how quickly my soil drained on it's own, before adding any amendments, I filled a few pots with the dirt from the bed -- much to my surprise & dismay, the water simply floats/sits on top of it & does not seem to penetrate the surface barely at all! Even after vigorously "stirring" the pot, there were still big patches of bone-dry dirt here & there.
What would be the best thing for me to add to my little bed, to get it to absorb the water well - but without adding so much "water-retention" that my "needs well-drained soil" plants would suffer?
I've never run into this problem when gardening before, so I'm stumped as to the best thing to do!
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me! Any amendments or supplies I need would have to be available at big-box stores, as they are the only places I am currently aware of in my immediate area, and driving long distances is out of the question for me right now.
I do have on hand already - app. 1/2 a bag of cow manure, a bag of MG potting soil, a 2cf bag of MG "garden soil". I've seen mushroom compost at the local Lowes, along with most of the other standard items they carry. Oh, and some bags of Florimulch to put down.
I read some mention elsewhere about wetting the bed down with soapy water? (Soap, not detergent!) I'm not sure about that, as I don't know what effect soap, even in very diluted form, would have on the soil.
Thank you again!!!
This post was edited by ferretlady on Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 17:02