It’s just a learning experience:
It’s almost May and our gardens are looking better than ever. However, they didn’t always look great. Before we moved to Missouri we lived in western Washington. We were pretty good at gardening in a place where it rains a lot and has some of the richest soil around. We were humbled a bit when we moved to Missouri though. Anyone whose lived here knows that the soil is nothing but red clay and rocks… LOTS OF ROCKS! The first year in Missouri we tried to sow directly into the soil to see what would grow and what wouldn’t. We failed on most things. We discovered bugs we never knew existed and dealt with weather we had never seen in person. However, with all those set backs, we also learned how to combat and fix them.
In regards to the soil, the next year we tried getting what is called “GARDEN MIX” topsoil. It’s 1/3 topsoil (which is basically brown clay), 1/3 sand, and 1/3 mulch. Sadly this didn’t do very well either, at least to Washington State soil standards. Our 3rd year here we decided to go with bagged soil because it gave us the best quality and after doing the math… it was the same price as the “garden mix.” Not to mention, it’s much easier to spread out bagged dirt in bags than using a shovel to unload a truck full of dirt.
As the pictures show, by using bagged dirt in conjunction with lots of rabbit poop soup (see our rabbit hutch with automatic poop collector https://littlemissourihomestead.wordpress.com/…/rabbit-hut…/ ) our gardens have really turned around for the better.
Sadly, we were talking to a local recently who asked us, “You buy your dirt and bring it in don’t you?” Locals already know how to work with what you got out here. Our advice, ask your neighbors what they do. You can save a lot of time, money, and frustration. JUST DON’T GIVE UP! A GREAT GARDEN IS IN YOUR FUTURE!