I guess I’m not the first one complaining about the soil here in the Houston area. Its completely compact clay.
So when I plant something I have to do a serious effort to improve the plant’s new growing site. That means pouring in a lot of organic matters and sand. So I dig three spade-blades depth.
First I remove the St.Augustine turf and then dig two spade depths deep under the turf. Then I empty all the organic material I have at hand like branches, leaves and weeds in the bottom of the trench, turning the lawn turf I dug up first upside-down partly on top of the organic matter. Here I had some grass clippings which I poured over the turned turf, mixed it with fine grained bark, sandy soil, the clay and some precious sphagnum mull.
I read somewhere that it’s better with a 1 dollar plant in a 10 dollar hole than the opposite, and in Houston, that is the most important thing you have to remember about gardening.
The main keywords are:
- Improve the soil with organic matter and sand.
- Raise the beds somewhat to improve the drainage.
- Fertilize little, but often because the heavy rain washes out the nutritions fast and pollutes the waterways instead.