Return to the Tennessee Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
HELP! I can't work my soil

Posted by JackieBlue61 TN (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 16:18

Greetings all. We just built a home and moved beautiful eastern TN (go Vols) and I want to do some fall landscaping and plan a garden for next spring, but our soil (I use that term loosely) is unlike anything I've ever seen. There's maybe 2-3 inches of dirt and under that either hardpan or shale! So far I have been unable to get down past this super hard layer with a shovel to see what's underneath. I think there is some clay soil down deep as I saw the red stuff when the builder was excavating. I am open to suggestions, but am wondering do you think using a broadfork would help me get thru? Does anyone have experience with this kind of poor soil? I am already certain I will need truckloads of topsoil and compost delivered but I need to break up the existing soil first. I want to get those bushes and trees in the ground! Thank you :)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: HELP! I can't work my soil

Can you snap a picture?


 o
RE: HELP! I can't work my soil

Depending on the specifics of your plantings (types of plants, location and size of beds, etc), it sounds like raised beds or berms might be something to consider. A lot will also depend on drainage. If you are on rock, you may have very good drainage. If it's just hardpan soil, you may have poor drainage. There are just too many variables without more info and specifics.


 o
RE: HELP! I can't work my soil

I would pile up leaves this fall where you want your garden beds, as much as realistically possible, maybe next when they get wet with rain sprinkle some topsoil on them and sow winter rye or winter wheat. Turn it under in spring. This way you are actually making your own soil. If there is rock down there, it may be the only way. If it is hard-pan clay, can't hurt either, it will be easier to dig in spring. I had to do this in my yard and after a few years people admire the soil where I did it - where I didn't it is still red clay. My additional important reason was that my place is very steep - can't really dig for geometric and erosion reasons.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Tennessee Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here