I was removing some roots and rocks and other debree (like teenage mutant ninja turtles which had roots growing >through< them. Anyway, I found some small snakes (don't quuite know if this is a good thing) bugs, weeds, worms (a few) and more roots). Anyway, I came across a worm, which kind of caught my eye as out of place in a backyard. Let me add that there was a 50 year old pine tree which I believe died of nematoads (sp?) >lotsa brown needles and black charring in the branches and stump< and I cut down last year. Anyway this worm was about one and a half inches long and about as round as a thick spaghetti noodle cooked.
The color was yellow, and it had colored tips on either end (red mayber brown). My first question is what are these 'worms' (there were quite a few - 10 or so that I found) and are they okay in a garden (organic vegetables and herbs is my goal). My second question is clay soil. I have a lot of it. I am bring in come compost (about 5 small pickup loads) to turn into the soil to help it drain and juice it up. But my question is there anything further I can do organically (with the exception of bring in more soil this year) to help my soil? [/q]
Have you had a soil test done? Do this before adding ammendments. Your county agent should be able to give you info on this. [/a]
Take one of them thar worms and go to the extension service and they will give you the low down on pluses and minus's. Clay!!!!! Arrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!! Gpysun, not sheet rock, in a bag at the garden center comes in 20lb to 50lb. sacks in my neck of the woods. Since I don't know how big your garden is I'd bring a caculator to figure the quanity. There are outfits that call them selves "Re-Loaders. They load bulk commodities from rail cars to trucks and from time to time they suffer spillages of these comdities and are looking for some place to unload it for cheap.
If you leave them a contact number you may be able to get your gypsun for free. Do Not use sheet rock because sheet rock has polommers and glues mixed into the gypsum and it you think your clay is hard now you ain't seen nothing 'til you mixed crushed sheet rock with it. I'll tell you from personal experience that it is the stuff that can resist a thermonuecular attack!!! So no sheet rock. [/a]
I live in North Texas where the soil is quite clay-ie as well. The compost you're adding should go a long way. You want to add about a 4"-6" layer of compost (fertilizes, adds humate for better drainage) on top, dry molasses(encourages microbial/biological activity) @ 10#/1000 sq. ft., and lava sand (aids in water retention for less frequent watering and loosens soil for better drainage) @ 40-80#/1000 sq. ft. and till to a 8-12" depth. [/a]