SOIL

Everything that grows in our gardens depends on the soil. If the soil is devoid of beneficial microorganisms and good nutrients, it will not support healthy plants. Fruit trees need deep fertile soil and good drainage, so water can percolate downward through the soil to saturate the root zone.Shallow soils should be avoided.Fruit trees send their roots deep in the soil,while young tree appears to be doing well on shallow soil,they soon become sickly and die.

The presence of vigorous, growth in fruit trees is a good indication that the soil is deep and well-drained. In the low desert of the southwest, soil is mostly alkaline and at some places, a very dense layer of clay is present. In addition, there is high salt content and it contains a poor amount of organic material. If you are not sure about good drainage, you can dig a hole 2 feet deep and fill it with water. With good drainage, the water should drain in the soil completely within 6-12 hours. If the water still has not drained in 48 hours, you should select different location for planting.

A dense layer of clay or calchi, which usually sits just two to three feet beneath the topsoil, should be broken by digging deeply into the ground to help in drainage of the soil.. At some places, the soil is so hard that you may need  a pick or jack hammer to break the thick layer of calchi .
The simplest way to improve your soils structure is to add soil amendments, such as compost, manure, chopped leaves, and mulches in the soil and on its surface. As the amendments decompose, they will become humus. This will provide all the nutrients that are important for plant growth. It also helps in drainage and lowers the pH of the soil.

COMPOSTING
  • Compost is a good way to recycle organic wastes from your home
  • It can convert kitchen waste, autumn leaves, and animal manure into dark, earthy compost material.
  • It will provide not only nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, but necessary trace elements as well.
  • It improves the soil drainage, aeration, ability to retain nutrients and water,
 Tropical area soil is rich in organic material,and tropical fruit plants love compost
 I use my own compost which consists of manure from my pet alpaca, mini horse, chicken and other farm animals. I also add grass clippings, kitchen waste, and leaves. In addition, mixing in pine forest mulch is very beneficial. I use this compost as a 3’-4” layer of mulch around the plants.
 Compost provides all the nutritional need for the trees also helps to conserve water. Pine needle are acidic, so they help in lowering the pH. Additionally, compost aides in controlling weeds. Organic material will help to maintain healthy levels of oxygen in the soil.
Creating healthy soil is the key to successful organic gardening
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subtropical.desert@gmail.com

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