What grows here?

pandora4606(6)March 21, 2013

I grew up in NJ and we had dark rich soil everywhere. Now that we moved to VA all I see is red clay. I look when I'm riding around for what the farmers might be growing and all I'm seeing are cattle. Can anyone tell me what does grow here or what to do with this clay to make something grow in it? Thanks

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Our red clay is usually rich in nutrients, just poor in structure. Add as much organic matter as you can. Grow a cover crop and till it in, add compost and/or composted manure, and have a soil test done to see what else needs to be added.

The soil is usually on the acidic side but don't add lime unless the pH test says it's necessary. Your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office can help with specifics in your area and can tell you how to do the soil test. It's not expensive and usually proves to be the best investment in your garden that you can make. The link below will lead to information about the Extension in your county.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Local offices of VCE

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 1:21PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Great advice Sandy!

Welcome to Virginia pandora. You can grow most things in VA. Depending on where you live, you might see dent corn, soybeans, cotton, tobacco or peanuts growing. But that's the large commercial farms.

What is it you're wanting to grow?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Red clay has to be just you beggining soil. Add some lime, some humus, some manure and some composted leaves and you have a good garden soil in which almost any zone 7 plant will grow well. I grow veggies (tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, bush beans, yard-long beans, mustard greens, swiss chards, lettuce and zucchini), herbs (basil, rosemary, sage), friut (cherries, ground cherries, peaches, bush cherries, strawberries, jujubi, apricott, oriental pears, japanese persimmon, raspberries, figs, huckleberry and paw paw). This year I am trying also potatoes and artichokes.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:32AM
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