How to Fix Your Bad Soil For Your Vegetable Garden

How to Fix Your Bad Soil For Your Vegetable Garden

In this video I’ll show you how to take your bad garden soil and turn it into the perfect mix for growing your own food and vegetables.

I do typically practice a no-dig or no-till style of gardening, but when your soil is THIS BAD you have to take more drastic steps!

00:00 – Intro
00:27 – Overview
02:56 – Step 1: Break up the compacted soil
08:08 – Step 2: Add organic material deep into the soil
10:47 – Step 3: Add organic compost to the top layer
15:10 – Step 4: Mulch

I’ll also show you how you can use what you have lying around instead of having to buy expensive materials elsewhere!

Thanks for watching and don;t forget to get your hands dirty!

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50 Comments

  1. Gloria Alore on April 18, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the good info.

  2. Roberto Ruiz on April 18, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    My rabbit as he picks the carrot 😱

  3. Raul McCai on April 18, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Take a part of your garden and plant Daikon and Rye lots and lots of it. They let it rot inplace. The daikon will penetrate, sending huge fibrous organic material of the root tube deep deep deep into the clay Rye goes deep too. WHen it rots it’ll have broken the clay up for you. Till manuer in in the fall
    You can not possibly do any harm to the microbes and micro flora with machinery. That would take chemical like chlorine or heat.
    When I was in engineering, one of my Intellectual property originators was a Proff at Brandeis. He was studying a variety of microbes and yeasts when I first met him.
    He used a Firearm Blank Cardtidge to blast them into Agar on petri dishes.
    I asked him about the damage to the little bugs from the trauma. He laughed at me then let me look through his microscoope and the little suckers were doing fine.

  4. Bj Henkes on April 18, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    check out: grelinette If you want to open the ground its a great way. after that cardboard and compost…

  5. Peace & Grace on April 18, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    I have black gumbo clay on the Texas coast 20 miles inland it doesn’t resemble your soil in any way except for holding water , the soil gets 3" cracks in it during the summer without rain , that’s the only time that it drains well , then the storms move in off of the Gulf and the soil tightens back up !

  6. Amy Snipes on April 18, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    Chickens would eat the collards AND the white flies.

  7. Elizabeth Blane on April 18, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    I noticed that you have a lot of shade; doesn’t that weaken your plant growth?

  8. Dallas Stuff on April 18, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    I’d love to see your plans for the chicken coop

  9. Vera Wallace on April 18, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Am not a fan of top soil ,the last time I use it and I water the plants, all the water was running off the soil ,I ended up have to scrape the whole thing out of the garden, and use garden soil instead

  10. Angie H on April 18, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    It’s amazing to see how dedicated you are!

  11. Sarah V on April 18, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, based on your mention of Nature’s way, I’ll bet you live awfully close to my old home off 45 and 242. I recently moved into my very own pine forest and it started like yours, pure sugar sand. After last year’s poor crops (no amendments, was learning as I went), and a run in with aminopyralid in the cow manure off my parents property, I finally learned how to amend our local soil and man, its like I’m not even in the same garden soil any more. Its possible to turn sugar sand into fertile earth, my garden is living proof!

  12. Tom Wessling on April 18, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Doc – I just started watching you because I live in Tallahassee and our soil and climate are very similar.

  13. kevin barnett on April 18, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    I did the same thing you did but my neighbor has a tree trimming service and I get all his wood chips.

  14. Charles Bale on April 18, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks for the information, appreciated the video.

  15. Gerri Poole on April 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Just discovered your videos. Thank you so much. With my soil I believe this video is just what I’ve been looking for

  16. Kay Luv on April 18, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I’m in Florida and I have sugar sand. I had to bring in top soil them garden soil on top. I’m planting cover crops this summer hoping to build my soil up in the next few years.

  17. Edwin Rodrigues on April 18, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    I love the tree cover in your property, so much shade and so much organic matter all around.

  18. Lady LaTre'viette Phantumhive on April 18, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    My city provides free compost and wood chips. I personally have a huge 8’x4’ 3’ deep bin I’m currently composting from stuff I collected from my own garden. Thank you so much for making this so simple and easy. There are waaaay too many gardeners on here that make it seem like you have to buy all of these things just to grow 1 plant. Luckily our native soil of really good. I’m currently in the process of making my own liquid fertilizer as well with bananas peels. My fingers are crossed in hopes that My plants bare fruit. This is my first year gardening!

  19. Michael Danford on April 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Better to use tiller

  20. Putin Hynes on April 18, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Have you tried rice hull for mulch? If so how did it work?
    I don’t have soil just dirt. I live in AZ. I am using food scraps to help the dirt become soil. I tried growing in the dirt and everything grew, just was not eatable.

  21. Lee Lindsay on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Find the Understanding Ag channel for more details. Have you looked into cover crops and soil armour? There isn’t science that supports "aeriating soil". Its just a "traditional practice" that doesn’t serve us well.

  22. cc ccclark on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    🇨🇱🇺🇸✝️🙏❤️👍

  23. Phoebe Anderson on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    I love your chicken house! So cute. 😄

  24. CW Kronenberg on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Great prsentation, really enjoyed it tnx. We actually applied a very similar remedy, but not to clay-ish soil but garden soil that was lifeless, sandy, with no body or texture, as well as oily, and therfore forever bone dry (typically 1cm down from surface even after a nice downpour). The change has been magical & very rewarding; All best on the road ahead!

  25. Jennifer M on April 18, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Heeeeeyyyyyyyy! SE Texas here too! And oh boy I’ve got a mess of clay soil here except dirt cheap mulch Sold it to me. Yes, I paid for a mostly clay soil mix they called garden mix and I filled 4-30” raised beds FULL of it. (Well with some hugel at the bottom with a lot of small limbs). At this rate I won’t need to water my gardens until August! lol 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
    I did an emergency amendment on two of them and it’s still not good enough but better.
    So glad I found your channel! I’ll be following you like white on rice 😆😂🤓

  26. J. Renee White on April 18, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve been building up my extreme clay soil. It used to rot the roots and compact down to cement and was a total night mare. There are a few other things I did that really helped the soil structure. All fall and winter I buried all the kitchen scraps using a trench method. Another thing I did was introduced more worms to the soil. It’s best to use native worms because they’re already used to your soil structure. I housed the worms in ideal conditions in 3 gallon stackable buckets in the laundry room for the winter which allowed them to reproduce at a fast rate. When the spring temps were ideal I released the worms including the soil they were in at night time to give them valuable time to find safe spaces to hide out before morning. Those worms have done a lot of work for me and my soil structure and fertility are becoming something to be proud of. Oh and a side note if you love horseradish you don’t have to change the soil structure to plant them. They’ll break up the worst of clay soils and grow to 3 feet deep. I had a 20 ft row for 5 years and it changed the soil structure drastically even with all the rocks compacted into the clay soil. Just amazing to see.

  27. Gwen Calloway on April 18, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Great information 👍 My first time watching.Great video

  28. I'm no Chipmunk on April 18, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Your vid is heaven sent. We have the same type of soil plus a lot of large rocks. I’m preparing to transfer my calamansi seedlings there. I don’t have a pitchfork so I used a pick axe and a shovel. I’ve only done a square meter and I was dead tired. Anyway, with what I’ve done so far, I dug about a foot deep and plan to do it the rest of the way tomorrow. Yes, I don’t have money to buy compost, so I plan to bury all my kitchen scraps, dead leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds then put the soil back then afterwards transfer my seedlings onto that bed. What do you think? Just last week, it had tomato plants but I’ve since uprooted them so I can prepare the soil. The tomato didn’t bear any fruit and kept dieing maybe because of the bare clay soil. No nutrients whatsoever that I added.

  29. Stroker Ace on April 18, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    I’m in Georgia, your native soil looks great!

  30. Bruce Anthony on April 18, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    That was the diggiest no dig garden i ever saw

  31. Crime Stock Investigation on April 18, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    you are very good with videos, talking. naturally entertaining. i liked the time lapse clean up. good luck ~ thanks

  32. Umair Ahmad on April 18, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    I have really sandy soil nothing grows well in it

  33. Texas Garden Doc on April 18, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    If this is your first time amending your garden soil, what is your favorite method to do it? If you are a seasoned veteran to gardening what is your routine to keep your soil healthy?

  34. The Ghost of Tom Joad on April 18, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    I’m right there with you, boss. We’re expanding this year in OH on a heavy clay compacted lawn area. It looked like what you have there: just this side of concrete. But Instead of turning it over, I just laid some cardboard over it last fall, topped it with finished compost, a huge pile of shredded leaves, lawn clippings, kitchen waste, and some crop residue. I tarped it all winter, and when I uncovered it in late March, the soil was beautiful. Worms galore. It’s growing leeks, cabbage, and cauliflower right now. A lot of work, but worth it.

  35. Cathy Eller on April 18, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Come do that to my garden please.

  36. Elizabeth Blane on April 18, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    Your audio is out of synch.

  37. Jamie Stancato on April 18, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    If you can get wood chips use them for the paths in your garden, we dug our paths down to 2 – 3 feet (lots of woodchips) add grass clippings to the chips. After a year or so we rake up the chips to get to the area where they have broken down and mound them on the garden beds.

    If you can get the chips, use your bedding from the chickens to breakdown the carbons quicker due to high urea levels.

  38. "MORNING GARDENER'S SHOW" on April 18, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    I saw this video and you did a good job shooting the video you remind me of myself when I first started out gardening so much to learn keep up the good work

  39. Gibson Branch on April 18, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    That intro got me! Southern Mississippi red clay!

  40. Vivian Tenuta on April 18, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Great info! We have the exact same issue. Loved the ending tips!

  41. ashford ngakaemang on April 18, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Great content. Just subscribed.

  42. Ryan Williams on April 18, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    I’ve never been hit with so many advertisements in one video. Great video!

  43. Pemela Mlambo on April 18, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Thanky ser

  44. Władca Wymiaru on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    I know better idea to pernamently improve the soil:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGurqqGTMW4 – Begin With Biochar
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUAEa4ORAkY – terra preta
    now you do not need the fertilizers!

  45. Todd david on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    I live in SWLA, so we are neighbors kinda . I have a heavy clay soil . I amended my raised beds with paper products like household cardboard and shredded paper (such as junk mail,which I have plenty of LOL ) I also have been using biochar for a few years now because the GOOD LORD has provided our area with not 1 but 2 hurricanes in the past year and a half or so . I am making lemonade with all the lemons (haha)Hope you get the humor .All these things have helped it’s a work in progress.
    GOD made dirt , dirt can’t hurt
    Enjoyed the videos DOC
    See y’all soon TD

  46. alice nakajima on April 18, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Great video with lots of useful information. Can you plant seedlings in this plot now or do you need to wait, and if so how long?

  47. bill timar on April 18, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    How long to do u need to wait before u can start planting?

  48. Jonnnn on April 18, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    How do you only have a couple hundred subs? That’s crazy great video and info and even the edits were good. Awesome content 👌 I live in south ga and the clay here is a nightmare. There’s about 6 inches of sand on top of 12 feet of clay lol. I did some raised beds but I’m gonna try to amend with compost (if I can find some local cheap stuff) and then try to cover in wood mulch(I also have a pine tree forest in the yard so I was thinking go and scrape off pine bark for about a week and I might make a nice sized free pile)

  49. Michael Worley on April 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Hey love the Teal Color themed but also consider building a treehouse over just a house that tears down the forest. Trees should be building blocks no tearing blocks. It can be funky and swirlyio just needs a bit of adjusting imagination and blueprinting and there we go and inventive you might get more followers because your not just helping humanity but your helping the World. We are not only making channels grow but It inspire others to experiment and YouTube Channels will grow when we choose to help the world 2 ways in one stone. Building a tree house and putting gardens in it. It can maybe make new species

  50. Gabe C on April 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    My front yard slopes down to one side so I dropped a dead tree where it runs down. I run my leaves over with my riding mower in the fall and leave them. After some good hard rain, it pushes all my leaf debris downhill into the timber and drains excess water. Come springtime, I have pure black leaf mold for the garden ( at least 3 truck loads). So if you have any uneven land, take advantage of it!

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