PopPop Heath grew the very best watermelons in his lower Delaware sandy soil. He'd take me out to the garden pick a watermelon and then proceeded to cut open a big juicy watermelon and tell me that we were only going to eat the best part...the heart. So we did! Then he buried the rest. At their home, after a delicious dinner, PopPop would say he was going to "bury his garbage"...I now know that he was creating a compost pile...to him it was just a part of daily life...collect your kitchen waste and then bury it. I'm sure he amended his sandy soil with that very same compost. I think of him every time I "bury my garbage"...which somedays, living on a plant based diet...is quite often. I sometimes use compost trenches, sometimes I toss in a bin and just keep piling it in...hoping it's going to break down with the help of a few worms...and I have a worm farm in the garage. The worm farm has been working it's magic for about a year and I'm ready to sift the soil and remove as many of my red wigglers as possible. One sad fact here....we have no worms in this sandy soil. None!
I remember my first garden back in Maryland. We weren't even finished building our home and I hand turned the sod to plant a garden that was only tended every few days or once a week, depending on how often I was able to go out to the building site. Our ground in Maryland was a clay loam...more loam than clay, but we always had 6-8" of top soil. Always!
Coming to Texas was a completely different ballgame! Texas literally kicked my life long garden butt this year!
I had several factors stacked up against me.
- Sand...everywhere I look it's a sea of sand...but no beach! Some areas Sugar Sand...others a little loam.
- Shade...one important factor buying this place was there was no grass to cut (weeds...yes...grass...no..lots of shade)
- Heat + Sand=thirsty plants
- BUGS! OMGOSH I HAVE NEVER seen so many bugs. Fire Ants!!!!! Grasshoppers as big as my thumb...no joke!