Re: [gardeners] Who's out there?

Martha Brown (
Sat, 29 Jan 2000 21:56:40 -0600


I have added tons of organic material and am still doing so.  I
need to do soil tests again this year.  I haven't tested since
1997 and the pH was 7.1 then.  NPK were all better in 97 than in
the first tests in 1995 so apparently the organic material has
improved that some.

I use the raised beds in the vegetable and cutting gardens so I
can put all the organic matter in the beds not the paths.  In
fact I have been building another bed each year with concrete
blocks stacked 2 high.  I use it as a compost pile layering with
soil and rounding until it won't hold any more.   Kind of a
modified sheet composting.  The next spring I add soil to fill if
needed and mix well.   Cover crops, rotation and plenty of mulch
will keep them in good shape.

At the moment I have 20 truck loads of mixed shredded leaves and
chipped limbs from the local electrical line maintenance crews
composting.  Each pile is still probably 8X8X6.  I haven't been
out lately to check them.   I probably need to add a little
nitrogen to them.  Should have had it on before the snow but I
didn't get it done.   The drivers just dumped a load here and one
there all over the meadow near the highway.   I have to get all
of them moved by spring according to my husband. He wants to
treat that area for sandburs so I want my compost out of there
before he spreads the herbicide.   It's a good thing I have the
front end loader to move them.

M Brown
NW Oklahoma, USA
USDA Zone 6b,  Sunset Zone 35

----- Original Message -----
From: Allen Merten <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2000 7:04 PM
Subject: Re: [gardeners] Who's out there?

Hi Martha,
    Since you have "sugar sand" the best improvement you could do
would be
to add lots of organic material. Compost made of local material
is what I
would recommend. Some commercial composts may contain materials
that could
change the pH of the soil in your raised beds.
    There is a conservation group that is asking people not to
buy peat and
sphagnum moss because the commercial harvest of them is
destroying the peat
beds and causing other environmental problems.
    I can't remember the name of the group. If anyone is familiar
with this
group, please let the list know. I had no idea that the harvest
of peat was
causing problems until I read the article in a post to the now
Wildgardens list. I don't use peat or sphagnum moss any way.
    Bastrop Co., SE Central Tx.
    Wildscape #1071
    Zone 8