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DIY - Gardening Do It Yourself Do you know a good gardening DIY plan? Are you in need for some good DIY ideas? This is the forum to discuss all Do It Yourself plans and questions. For example, learn about: The pipe work to support banana bunches, making pots out of newspaper, using plastic cups as pots, tips for building coverings for plants during winter, etc. If you know a good DIY plan, please share it here, and if you need one, please ask away!


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Old 04-30-2016, 05:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I spent many years fighting clay soils which meant that, when it rained really hard or you overwatered, your beds became muck often threatening to drown your plants because there was essentially a big pot underneath. Here in FL we can get a huge downpour yet 2 hours later it's like nothing happened. Or did it?

I'm asking about watering my veggie garden. I spread about 4 to 5" of compost over my "dirt"...er sand... to eke out a nice space with paths that were not raised except with the leave/pine needles I spread to discourage weeds. (In other words, I have sandy paths.) Where I've transplanted big potted plants, I've dug a hole, added more compost and stuck them in; I water the "stalk" on those. Veggie garden transplants came from small pots so I merely tucked them into the top layer of not completed compost so it's prone to drying out quickly.

My question is about watering both types of beds. Do I water each and every plant individually or can I use a sprinkler for the entire area and receive benefits from doing such? Until I get my well figured out, I'm not wasting a drop of pricey city water on the in between areas so I'm spending hours with a hose--bored out of my mind--keeping them happy. Perhaps that's not necessary? Perhaps water doesn't just race through sand and offer no future benefit to plants? Hope, hope, hope...stupid optimist me.

I need the scoop on watering in sand, please.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I put my hose nozle on drip and leave it.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

But I have a fairly large garden (about 18*20--not everything came up but plants are scattered within the area and everyone is equally thirsty) comprised of 4' wide raised beds with 18" paths. If I watered the beds that are covered with 4-5" of compost would plants get the benefit or would excess water go to China? I know that sounds like a silly question but I've never gardened at the beach.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Welcome to Fl ... Hopefully you have a nice layer of mulch over your compost.
If your in sugar sand it wont hold much water. but with a thick layer of mulch over your compost it will do ok. If you paying for water it getsw expensive , a well may or may not be an option with salt water intrusion . Fortunatly in another month or so the afternoon rains will start and it wont be so much of an Issue... Unfortunatly depending what you have in the ground you are nearing the end of the first season, once the rains start most things wont survive the oppressive heat and humidity.. There are exceptions, sweet potatoes for instance love the summer weather and sandy soil ...
Im in Orlando and have been building organic matter for years around my fruit trees.. Raised beds I filled with compost, grass clippings and leaves. then planted the second season . Your county should offer free or cheap compost get all you can.
Veggies there are 2 seasons feb-may and sept -november sort of. I start my plants in pots while its still to hot or cold and transplant into the ground once the temps moderate.
good luck its another world for gardners here
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But I have a fairly large garden (about 18*20--not everything came up but plants are scattered within the area and everyone is equally thirsty) comprised of 4' wide raised beds with 18" paths. If I watered the beds that are covered with 4-5" of compost would plants get the benefit or would excess water go to China? I know that sounds like a silly question but I've never gardened at the beach.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I've got mounds of mulch over everything. I always remove the native soil for each plant. Nematodes like sandy soil.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

A long time resident told me that amending the soil does nothing there; the sand eats more than you can put in. Is that right? That it's a no win battle? I do know that I've been cleaning up my lot for over a year and just about when I think I've got it all, whump, the earth spits up yet another buried cinderblock.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Yes, I have a well, red. Pump motor appears to be shot; I hope replacing that puts me in "free" aqua. I dread going much beyond moneywise but will if needed; I can't afford city water for my gardens.

I have tomatoes, beans, peppers and eggplants growing well; I'm anticipating a "whomping" fall garden because this season hasn't been great. Which is fine. It was my first real test here. I failed. It failed. I learned.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I have only been here a year and a half and I can tell you it really is a different world of gardening here. Peppers and watermelons love the summers here. I got some of the best watermelons ever last summer by accident. I toss fruit n veggie scraps around my bananas for potassium and a certain "sangria" melon's seeds grew. Best watermelons I ever had. (Pick them when the bottoms start turning yellow but there is still some white left.) See here:

Some people grow great tomatoes here. I do not yet know how. I see people buying garden soil in bags in large numbers, so maybe that helps. It probably has clay in it.
I am experimenting with adding clay bits to the soil along with compost and manure Clay bits, as in cheap, non clumping, unscented cat litter. All it is is clay, which drastically increases soil's ability to hold water. I am growing carrots and radishes in it. Got them in late, but so far they are doing great.
For all tropical plants, as well as watermelons, I go with the "Plant it in the sand and add amendments to the top" rule, and it seems to work well here. Lawn clippings work great in the wet months, but the rest of the year it just turns into a water repelling pile of dry straw. (Don't use oleander for mulch or compost, as you may still get poisoned by it through your plants.) I plan on trying some kind of composter as soon as I can get one because compost piles just dry out most of the year.
I would love to go back to Illinois with a big dump truck and just get some real dirt.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

If someone says the sand can't be ammended then they dont know what they are doing. It's harder here labor wise but not complicated.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Mulch MULCH baby!!!! WOO Oh yeah!!!
That's how you garden in Florida.
If you ever think you have enough........ you're wrong!
Never stop, Florida eats mulch like....
Well, just keep adding mulch. You can never add too much.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaT View Post
Mulch MULCH baby!!!! WOO Oh yeah!!!
That's how you garden in Florida.
If you ever think you have enough........ you're wrong!
Never stop, Florida eats mulch like....
Well, just keep adding mulch. You can never add too much.
Keep on....
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I plan to continue mulching and mulching. (Fortunately I have a truck and live 4 miles from free stuff which is considered "trash" because it brings termites and bugs to your house. Haha! Joke's on those idiots.)

Will the need for water decrease here with additions as it does when you're gardening in clay/loam? Will improved sand hold water or will it continue to race to the center of the earth?
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Have you considered some kind of container? Something that would hold your water until the plant needed it, and only need topping up once a week or two? I have pretty good luck with "fake earthboxes" ( https://picasaweb.google.com/1146855...39559475076914 ) with taro, a plant that loves water. Also other things like strawberries, onions, tomatoes, raspberries. The first trick is to find a big enough container, ideally freebee, that works and is not too tacky for your situation.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I would recommend a more nutritious mulch than wood chips, unless you use chemical fertilizers.
It's a small road trip for you, but the Sarno rd. landfill in Melbourne has large truckloads of compost for $15. It isn't much as mulch with all the sand in it, but will feed your nanners well. Unless you incorporate the material into the soil (sand) it will still drain to the center of the earth, only it won't dry from the top as fast. Try using your grass clippings around them during the summer when they will rot, my bananas grow roots all thru them. Or, try putting down the wood chips, and covering them with some of the compost or grass clippings, or both.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I drive 4 miles to pick up free compost. When my truck was out of commission, I paid a local man $30 per 4 yard load; I got 2 loads and have about 1/3 left to spread. My lawnmower mulches so no clippings. I do have a compost bin but honestly don't have enough "stuff" to make much; what I do have is used in transplant holes. Actually mulch is a great soil addition after it breaks down; even in FL that takes more time than I care to waste. It's great for discouraging weeds, conserving water and cooling the soil.

My garden is too large for containers. Once I get the well straightened out and some lines run, I should be good to go.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Rather than be a "start silly new post thread hog", I'm adding to this one.

I need a pump motor. I'm hoping (and expecting) that's all I need. Shallow well in sand. I'm looking at a 1 HP pump (motor and what else?) from Harbor Freight for $130 (less 20% from coupon?) plus tax. This scares me because I've purchased tarps and such from them but never anything mechanical and the reviews are very mixed. It will have it's own switch; it won't be one 24/7/365 1/4. But I need it when I need it.

Though at times in my life I lived where water came from springs or wells, I know nothing how to get water "up" (unless it's from a basement in MD or OH--I am a sump pump expert)--nothing. This is only for my yard/garden unless I get really ticked at the city and decide to "go off the pipe". (Doubt I will but if I did this would be an on call system.)

I don't believe in buying cheap tools. Used is fine sometimes.

Suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

That is a good price for a pump... I can't comment on quality from Harbor Freight, though. Mine went out on xmas morning last year. New pump from Home Depot was about twice that. Good little pump, though.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I'm hoping, if the weather is good, to pull the motor tomorrow so I can read specs and learn more of its history. As I discover more about the prior occupants of this place and its history, I have a feeling what was there served the house for many years. It might have been replaced before the last sale in 2008 but I doubt it; the house ran on city water at least 5 years before then. It's been reported to me that the last owners used it used to fill a hot tub and above ground pool before it seized. Who knows?

Lord knows nobody has ever gardened here much less considered the lot more than a glorified dump. Phooey on idiots! I have tomatoes forming on my experimental Jelly Bean plants. So far they look like little clustered grapes, as they should, but hybrids are funny folk so the picking product can be horrible or wonderful. AMHIK.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

Perhaps that's not necessary? Perhaps water doesn't just race through sand and offer no future benefit to plants? Hope, hope, hope...stupid optimist me.
geometry dash lite online.
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Sandy soil gardeners--enlighten me

I suggest using a soaker hose (5 gal/hr for 50 ft hose +/-) or drip lines with a timer. Reduce loss of run-off water with shorter but more frequent watering times. ... May be 30 minutes on every 2 or 3 hours (???) during the day light hours. This will take trial & error to find the right combo.
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