Our soil is ver hard. Even a pick will penetrate about 1/2 inch. Water does not sink in. What to do ? Desire to grow a vegetable garden.


4 answers

  1. Hello grandpa388,

    I would like to assist you with your garden problem. I suggest going to a raised bed type of garden. There is a lot of information on the internet about this type of gardening, the initial expense is a little higher, but in the long run it will solve your problem and save a tremendous amount of time. Essentially, you use 2X6 or wider lumber to create a boxed in area that you add soil to. The plants are planted into the added soil and can also root down into the existing very hard ground. This would eliminating all of the time and labor required to break up the existing soil and if it is high in clay and/or rocks, it will no longer matter. Generally the areas are 3-4 feet wide and as long as the area they are in allows, or is convenient. I hope that this gives you some ideas. JerryTech

        • San Jose, CA

      In response to SHC-JerryC

      Another advantage of raised beds is that you can easily attach screening to keep out the nibblers and the height of the raised bed can help deter some of the crawling critters that hang around gardens.

  2. We had hard soil in our yard when we first moved into our house, too, grandpa388! We now have a thriving vegetable garden-it just took a little work.

    We started by digging deep into the soil and tilling it with a shovel. If your soil is super hard, you may want to rent or buy a roto-tiller. Sears has quite a few great models available for sale! Once we started to do that, we would loosen it up every week as much as we could. After a couple of weeks, we started to add compost that we purchased at our local garden store. It took a few months, but was worth the hard work!

    I am sure a few other members will have a suggestion or two as well, but that is what worked for us.

        • San Jose, CA

      In response to SHC-JulieK

      Although more expensive, a powered rear-tined tiller will break up hard ground a lot more efficiently and with less jarring of your bones than a front-tined - bouncy bounce - tiller.

      You may want to rent a rear tined tiller and use a front tined tiller of your own to keep previously broken up ground mixed with additional soil and turning over old vegetation, left at the end of harvesting season.