Raised beds are a great solution Herbkat! Our soil is mostly clay & there are TONS (literally) of granite & quartz rocks & stones. My mom spent weeks ammending the soil here. I have some very generic plans for making your own raised beds as well as how to use worms to create compost.
Worm composting is called vermicompost. Red worms are the best for this use. You can create your own worm bin using a plastic storage bin and coconut fibers. It's very easy! Happy Gardening!
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I'm late weighing in on this, but here goes. We have very clay soil too, and it takes a lot of work to amend it. Have you thought about making raised beds instead? You can grow a lot of veggies in a couple of 4x8 raised beds. That way you can create your own soil inside the bed, and set it on top of all that clay. It's easier to control the conditions, and with a good loamy mix you'll be able to water less and retain more moisture.
worm castings, cow compost manure, organic peat, all good to put into the soil.
If you want to amend your sandy soil, add heavy elements to encourage the soil to bind. Start a compost heap and include bone meal, leaves, leftover vegetables, wood chips and bark, and tree and shrub limbs that have been cut into fine particles. Mix the manure with the compost material and add it to your sandy soil. These elements will help to enrich the ground, making the soil more dense and binding.
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Worm casting are great. Any type of organic matter will really help clay soil. For this spring buying worm casting or compost will help, There are places you can buy compost in bulk, which is a lot cheaper than by the bag. Just be carefull, it is usually sold by the cubic yard, which is 27 cubic feet.
For the future you might want to start a compost bin so you don't have to buy it. You could also start a worm bin if you wanted to. Info on both is easy to find on line.
I am in zone 8, high desert of So Cal. I started a small veggie garden last year and am looking forward to expanding it this March... A friend has recommended "worm dirt"...be mixed into my beds, as the soil in the gardens location is very poor. We have a lot of clay up here. Does anyone have any experience using worm dirt? I am a novice veggie gardener...but willing to try different things.
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