Grapevine soil turned into a brick

purovargas(8)March 30, 2014

I just recently planted my grapevines in a soil mixture of 2 bags top soil, one bag of green sand and half a bag of peat hummus. I planted them yesterday and when I went today to check them I noticed that the soil on top exposed to the sun turned into a hard crust almost as hard as a brick so I dug down and the soil below was soft but the top part is hard. Does anyone know if I just ruined my grapevine? I put peat hummus on top to act as a mulch to keep the bottom soil moist but I am worried if we have a hot summer that the soil will turn into a brick.

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You definitely want to mulch your grapevines. They'll bake if the soil is exposed to our unforgiving summer sun. However, peat moss and its derivatives break down quickly in this climate. Don't expect that peat mulch to last through the growing season. The same holds true for the peat in the soil mixture; it will last only a few months. If it's still possible to work amendments into the soil, coir (compressed coconut fiber) is excellent for moisture retention, and in Texas it has greater staying power than peat. I'd add a couple of inches of good compost to the surface to replenish the nutrients the soil microbes devour as our summer temperatures rise. Frequently replenishing this top dressing will keep the bricks at bay. Cover the top dressing with a dense layer of shredded bark mulch, e.g. cedar or hardwood, and your grapevines will be off to a good start.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

I'm no expert, but that seems like too much greensand, which may explain your results. A 40-lb bag is used to topdress 1000 square feet...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Yes, that's too much greensand. Greensand is used as an amendment not as a soil. Sand + clay = brick.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:03AM
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