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Soil and Composting: Can anyone tell me something about the red soil I encounter

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 3, Views: 44
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patti47
Lynnwood, WA
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2010
1:44 PM

Post #8188788

My garden is on land that was once a farm. The house is old enough that there is dark soil about 6" deep and below that is soft red dirt. I'd like to know what red soil is all about. My last garden was on hardpan. As deep as I could dig it was HARD and rocky. This is so different. What is this about? I'm loving it as I can dig deep easily. There are rocks but nothing like the glacial till that was probably what my last garden was on.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 2, 2010
10:04 AM

Post #8190406

Check with your County Extension Agent for a soil test, that will tell you more than anything.

Doug
realbirdlady
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 3, 2010
7:29 PM

Post #8193403

You can look at the soil maps for your county, too.

Red normally indicates iron. I have a vague recollection that that "soft" dirt is something crumbled volcanic something. The 6" on top I guess is amended soil from the farm? I think the big issue with the red stuff is that it erodes really easily.

Let us know when you find out...
patti47
Lynnwood, WA
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2010
5:23 AM

Post #8193742

Thanks for the responses. I am checking with the extension agency in my area. I am just curious about whether it is a good idea or not to deliberately bring up some of that red subsoil to mix with the topsoil. My thought too was that red indicates iron. I've always heard how lava soils are so rich. I am so amazed at how easily I can dig down into this stuff after many years in my previous garden. I want to make good use of what seems to me to be prime soil.

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