I was at my community garden last week and I made some massive changes to the soil. I have a couple challenges at my garden plot.
One is water – as in too much of it. I know this is a great problem to have, but apparently the nice people who have been gardening there for the last 3 years say it can make things a challenge. What happens is, there is an alleyway that trains into the garden property, and then passes through the property to a dry storm pond set up by the city.
This can cause a lot of problems. For example, when I first saw the garden, there was a white salty crust on top of the soil everywhere. I believe this is coming from the run off, so I’m hoping it doesn’t sterilize the soil. Anyway, here’s what I did to fix this problem.
Raise the soil
To keep the plants and soil out of the running water as much as possible, I’ve raised the soil. I’ve done this by making hugelkultur beds.
I believe this will help because the logs will draw in the water over time like a sponge and release it at a more realistic rate. Also, the added volume of logs and wood chips in the garden will allow water to stay in the soil better.
Here’s some pics of the work I did on the garden. They were taken on my phone, so they’re not anything great, but I think you’ll get the idea. I basically split the garden into quarters. I dug a trench, threw the logs and branches in, then covered them with wood chips, and then covered the chips with soil. I gained about a foot of elevation which I think will help a lot.
After watching greening the desert, I learned that mushrooms can take salt out of soil. I’ve also known that mycelium helps gardens and forests grow in ways we still don’t understand fully. So in order to hopefully get some of these benefits, I’ve ordered some mycelium that I can inoculate into my garden plot.
Hopefully these changes will help me out in my ventures. If you have any tips or comments, please let me know.