I am in Kansas city, MO a VERY clay based zone 5, and I have been in my home for about 2 years. I have been FEVERISHLY amending my soil and in places that I have focused it is an earthworm Mecca with a light fluffy texture, and sweet aroma! J
I have since built one LONG raised bed for 20 different varieties of heirloom tomato.
Here is my "issue" Â. Last fall after laying down several sheets of wet newspaper, I filled these beds with shredded leaves, old horse manure, finished compost, grass clippings, and some good topsoil. I was diligent about turning the material in these beds about every 7-10 days all winter (very mild winter). I suddenly have a TON of earthworms (and worm egg cases), and cannot find any real sign of the individual ingredients that filled the beds. As I turned the beds I dug approx. 12 inches into the ground below in order to gain more room for roots. I think by incorporating this clay soil into the raised bed material I have made it far to dense and compaction prone. This mix can REALLY hold the water!!! And it is pretty "heavy" when wet. I havenÂt had a soil sample done and in the name of my budget I probably wonÂt.
Do you all think that adding a LOT of perlite will fix this issue?
Do you think it will be a problem?
The beds are 12" high (plus 12" below) and 18" wide, by very long! J Imagine a 40 foot trough.
Any input would be GREATLY appreciated as the Toms will be going in about 4 weeks from now!!
Thanks a ton