Most of soil in Oklahoma is hard clay, which is unsuitable for gardening. However, if you live in Colorado, you will want to have a vegetable garden or even do large-scale farming.
Despite the soil being unsuitable for farming, you can turn it into living soil using the following processes. Turning your garden soil to gardening gold is a gradual process that improves soil fertility with time.
Use of Compost
Compost is considered a gardener’s friend in Colorado, where the soil is tough clay. You can make compost from food scraps at your home. However, since the food scraps might not be enough, you should buy compost.
Compost is known to break up the tough soil and increase the organic matter of the ground. After adding the compost, you should till your garden well to ensure it mixes with the earth.
Ensure that you add some compost every year. You can add purchased garden soil and compost to your land if the soil is too unpromising.
The use of raised beds is a shortcut to improving your garden soil. However, you still require to add compost every year in this process. You need to make a bed with a depth of 12 to 20 inches. Your bed should not be too broad.
Ensure that you can reach the plants at the center of your bed to avoid packing the soil down as you walk. It is easier to buy your soil in bulk but ensure you do not purchase clay-like or heavy soil. The soil you are buying should be loose enough and free of debris. Mix 2/3 garden soil with 1/3 of compost.
You can make the raised bed by removing the sod, adding some inches of the compost mix, and purchasing garden soil.
Dig the land to mix it with the underlying soil to improve the soil drainage. Add the remaining soil and compost and turn everything.
Adding a granular fertilizer is a way of turning your tough soil into living soil. You should do this annually before you plant. During the growing season, it is advisable to use a water-soluble liquid fertilizer. You can choose either organic or inorganic fertilizers.
Starting from Scratch
If you live in Colorado, you might have witnessed lands that cannot support even grass growth. In such an instance, you can add some topsoil and plant winter rye.
The best thing about winter rye is that its roots reach up to 5 feet deep, helping break up the tough soil.
This can be followed by plowing cover crops under the soil, adding crushed leaves and manure from compost. You can also add some bone meal while planting to improve your soil.
Cover crops like red clover can improve tough soil when used during the growing season. The cover crops will suppress weeds, and you can till them before planting in the following spring.
If you are enthusiastic about farming in Colorado, the toughness of the soil should not stop you. You can start improving the soil in a small portion of land and expand with time. Remember that people have successfully raised food in the state, and you can join them using the above tips.