Restoring Depleted or Poor Soil

Improving Depleted Soil

What is the quickest way to bring an old used garden spot back into quick production?

Spade in organic matter in the fall. In the spring, apply superphosphate, hoe, rake, and plant. Add complete fertilizer just before planting, and again during summer.

I have been raising flowers on the same ground for some time. What can I use to keep it in shape?

Incorporate organic matter such as leaves or peat moss in the soil between the plants. Apply a good complete fertilizer as needed.

I have planted flowers in the same spot for the last 15 years, using only a commercial fertilizer. My flowers do not have as large blossoms as they used to, but bloom very well. Should I add anything more, or do as I am doing?

Unless the soil is very rich, it would be beneficial to add compost or peat moss, or some other form of organic matter.

How can subsoil fill be converted so that vegetables can be grown?

If organic matter can be worked in heavily, any subsoil other than pure clay can be made fit to grow crops. Allow 6 weeks to elapse, then test for fertility and pH. Many subsoils are rich in minerals but lack organic matter.

How can I build up soil that is mostly cinders?

In the upper 8 to 10 ins. incorporate compost and haul in soil. The final proportion of cinders should be not more than 1/4 of the total volume in top 6 ins.

My garden plot is mostly brown soil and not too fertile. How can I make it fertile?

Apply compost and a complete fertilizer.

My soil is very poor. How can I improve it?

Add 3 ins. compost or peat moss; spade to a depth of 6 ins. Before raking add a good complete garden fertilizer at 4 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.

Are flowers or vegetables likely to grow in soil from which the top 18 ins. have been removed?

Usually not. By manuring the subsoil and planting green manure crops, the soil may be made fairly good after 2 or 3 years.

How much topsoil do you advise using over fill in order to grow flowers and vegetables?

At least 6 ins.; preferably more.

I am planning to make a garden where the sod is rather heavy. How can I destroy this?

Till or spade in the fall or spring. Apply complete fertilizer before spading to hasten decomposition. Sod land makes the finest of soils. If infested with quackgrass, kill this with Dalapon (sold by dealers in farm supplies) before turning the sod under.

I have a brand new home; the builder put in very little loam, and the soil itself is very poor. How can I improve it?

Without adding topsoil, the process of improvement will be very slow. Heavy additions of manure would have to be substituted. This should be worked in in the fall or spring. Soil should be tested for acidity and proper corrections made. Fertilizers should be added, and green manure crops planted – rye in the fall (2 to 3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.), followed by soybeans next spring (after plowing rye under). After plowing the soybeans under, soil should be in fair shape.

I used topsoil from the farm to enrich my soil, but results were poor. How can I determine what is wrong?

Topsoil, often sold as “from a farm,” can be from a worn out, abandoned one and worthless. See answer to above question.

Will it be necessary to add extra fertilizer to the topsoil we have just put on?

Add a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potash.