Gardening tips for dealing with the Concho Valley’s difficult soil



a close up of food: Thanksgiving is a great time of year to start a compost bin if you don’t have one. There are fallen leaves to rake up to get it started, and plenty of fruit and vegetable scraps like potato peels, apple cores, and coffee grounds.


© Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Thanksgiving is a great time of year to start a compost bin if you don’t have one. There are fallen leaves to rake up to get it started, and plenty of fruit and vegetable scraps like potato peels, apple cores, and coffee grounds.

This is not new information to very many, but the soil in the Concho Valley is hard to dig in! Much of the soil is heavy, hard and rocky — if it’s hard to dig with a shovel, imagine the struggle plant roots have trying to grow. Some homeowners are lucky to have loose, rich soil, but most of us will have better luck with landscaping and gardening if we put soil management as a top priority.

Of course, there are plants that thrive in and prefer rocky, heavy soil without organic matter. So if the types of plants you want to grow are desert plants that prefer lean conditions, don’t bother with trying to amend the soil. But for turfgrass, vegetable gardens, traditional shrub and flower beds, etc. — organic matter is the key to a good start.

The foundation to good soil management is simple — incorporate compost any

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