Soil Composition For Root Veggies
Missouri has an extremely high clay content in its soil. Even worse in urban areas because builders often leveled the individual yards with fill dirt. Unless you take several years to amend your bed soil with organic material it makes growing root veggies difficult. So I've been looking at a variety of ways to provide a looser medium for things like carrots and potatoes. One way is to add a large amount of sand.
This video is a good example.
"How to Grow Fantastic Carrots in Sand Boxes"
Yes, you can do this in containers like 5-gallon buckets but I like what this guy does, build tall (18 to 24") raised beds. It puts them all in one more easily cared for raised beds.
I think instead of having to dig out the soil with a shovel, I would make the front of the box removable. Cover each panel with plastic to protect it, have an internal cross piece of
wood or even metal to hold its shape, and then just unscrew the front and let the sand come out onto a tarp to reuse. Or maybe use galvanized roofing panels?
He fills the bed first with a good supply of large particle-sized sand. I might also add something like vermiculite for drainage, and to provide a loose growing medium. Then he cores the sand and adds a fine compost in the holes. I've never seen coring done before in a video. That would save from having to fertilize the entire bed, sand included. I also like the small plastic rings he uses at the top to guide water down into the compost and not into the sand.
Hard to argue with his results!!! You could pull just one carrot and make a meal of it for several people. I think I may build a few of these on the fence side of my new beds, pairing one of these with a 3x4' metal bed like what my others are.
I wonder if this would work with something like potatoes if you cored a wider hole but a shallower one?
Thoughts from those of you who grow carrots?