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Soil Problems

Q.Soil Problems

Zone Irving, Texas | Anonymous added on March 5, 2024 | Answered

I thought I was following the lasagna method properly, but now I think it compromised my crops last fall. I put fresh chicken manure mixed with pine shaving bedding on the bottom of my raised beds and then filled the rest with bagged soil from Home Depot. This soil appeared to have a lot of wood chips in it. And my chard and beet seeds sprouted but did not grow; the lettuce did very well. The transplanted yellow squash turned yellow, withered, and died. I suspect wood chips tied up the nitrogen … but the lettuce was fine, so I’m not sure. I made the beds nine months ago. How long will the wood chips and shavings tie up the nitrogen if that was the problem? Or something else? Will things be better now?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 6, 2024

The chicken manure should be composted before putting it in a bed, especially where food crops are grown. The bagged soil may have been topsoil intended for lawns, which you can check on the Home Depot website. If the soil did have a lot of wood chips in it, then there is the chance of nitrogen depletion.

Enough time has passed that these issues should be resolved. However, it doesn't sound as if many nutrients were available to the plants last season, depending on what was in the bagged soil. You may consider a soil test to see what nutrients your soil needs going forward. These articles should help:




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