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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a burning question that I am hoping someone can help with. I live in eastern North Carolina and I think my soil quality is very poor. I am waiting for my soil tester to come in the mail, but it is just a mix of clay and sand and it is as hard as a rock. No worms live in the soil because they can't get through it. I would like to know how to improve the quality of my soil on a large scale. We live on 3/4 of an acre - do I just dump compost on my entire lawn? How else can I get rich soil? I don't even know where to start with it.
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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I assume that since you are here, you can't afford to truck in top soil. I'd start with a garden area first with the compost. Any horse or cow farms near you? Great source of manure for composting. Leave the grass clippings instead of bagging them.

Lee
 

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What you are looking for isn't fertilizing, it's amending the soil. The only thing that will do that, aside from a complete replacing, is organic matter.

Apply the following directly to the top of the soil. If you have grass, don't cover the grass entirely, leave the blades showing through.

Finished compost - cool, smells like dirt, no identifiable pieces.
Aged manure - at least 2-3 years old, smells like dirt.

It's easiest to dump the above in piles, and then use a push broom to spread out. Remember to leave the blades showing.


Tree leaves - mow directly into the lawn
Mulch mow the grass itself. Stop bagging unless you are concerned with weeds.
Corn meal/soybean meal/organic "fertilizer" - Don't use chemical fertilizers. Organics will break down in the soil, bringing in insects and worms, which will then feed the lawn.

Depending on the soil tests, there may be some other things to add. This will all take time, but it will work. I'm not strictly organic, however the organic method has done wonders for my soil and lawn. It doesn't have to be more expensive than chemicals, but it will probably take a bit more time.

The following forum can provide a lot of info:
Organic Lawn Care - GardenWeb
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much! This will be a great start. I wouldn't call what I have "grass" - it is more like weeds with a few blades of grass stuck between them. I read that many weeds thrive in poor soil so hopefully these amendments will make a difference!

~Thanks again~
 

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In that case, I would roundup the whole thing, add a bunch of compost or manure to till in, then seed. Weeds grow in poor soil, but they grow in good soil just as well, if not better.
 
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