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Patience
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
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Experience:  MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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how do I fix silty type soil? It seems to repel water.

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how do I fix silty type soil? It seems to repel water.
Hello and welcome. What is the problem in detail with your soil? Construction, gardening?
Hi! Thanks for your question. There are several things you can add to your soil which are relatively inexpensive and easy to add. See below:

Silty soil needs added ingredients to make it less porous and more moisture-retentive. You can increase the soil’s organic materials by digging in well-rotted manure, compost, and seaweed.

Garden compost is loaded with diverse populations of active and dormant bacteria and beneficial fungi, as well as residual bacterial “glues” that help bind the soil particles together, while soaking up and holding moisture.

Coir is dried, compressed coconut husk. It is a cheap and abundant by-product of the coconut industry. Adding it to the soil immediately increases it’s moisture-holding capacity. Coir comes in blocks that absorb 5 times their weight in water. It soaks up moisture and holds it in the soil for a long time.

Manure can be obtained from a local farm or ranch. Or check in with your neighborhood garden store. You should use about 2 large wheelbarrows of decomposed manure for every 50 foot row of garden.

Add manure along the row to be planted together with a 1-2” (2.5-5 cm) layer of coir, compost, and any other organic soil amendments, and dig them into the soil with a rototiller (or by hand if the plot is small) before planting.

I have been trained as a master gardener, and I can give you further information as needed. Please rate my response using the star system, and then feel free to share any more questions or concerns

Good customer service is one of my highest priorities! Please use the REPLY tab with any issues that come up regarding the service you have received. Come back soon and remember to ask for Patience P!
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
Patience and 19 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thank you for your response. sounds simple. I am trying square foot gardening and have to mix compost vermiculite and peat moss together, but I'm confused about what compost is. Does it mean manure and hummus , too?
Compost is organic matter (of any kind) in advanced decomposition state. Note that you must be cautious to not put diseased plant in a compost bin (better to burn them and then use the ashes).

Vermiculite (i think this is a plagued material that look for a market and all kind of problems) is not needed if you use enough compost, peat moss is far superior substitute. If you mix your native soil to it the clay should be well enough to keep the soil moist at all time.

As the bottom is silt, be sure to have proper drainage to prevent root rot from stagnating water at the bottom of the mix.

Because of water freezing (if you are north) and earth worm nest (made of clay), you may have to remix the soil each year to prevent the sand and clay to come back on top.
Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4886
Experience: i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Hello again,

In gardening, as in any technical undertaking, it does help to remember the KISS rule--Keep It Simple, Sweetheart! And actually, that's part of the whole square foot gardening philosophy.

As Martin said above, compost is organic matter. This can be yard scraps, kitchen waste, manure, or a combination of these things that have been collected and allowed to decompose. It becomes a rich, earthy-smelling dark and fluffy soil, sometimes referred to as humus. It's the good stuff!

The coir can be substituted for the peat moss to increase the water retention. You can try Amazon if you decide to try it:
http://www.amazon.com/Worm-Factory-COIR250G10-Coconut-Growing/dp/B003DQPS5K/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

Or: http://www.gardeners.com/Coir-Bricks/40-358,default,pd.html

In order to buy compost, go to your local garden center, a compost/soil/mulch provider, a farmer, or an online garden supplier.

Good luck and have fun, Patience P.
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
Patience and 19 other General Specialists are ready to help you