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Do vegies grow with pebbles in the soil?

I have a side garden with raised beds that currently have my 1st season of summer vegetables. I have another area of the yard that I was planning to use for my fall garden. As I have gotten in to loosen the soil I have found all kinds of big/medium/small rocks that I have been removing. But my concern is the small/tiny pebbles that I will not be able to remove. Can Vegetables grow in dirt that contains pebbles??? My plans are to build it up with top layer of garden soil and compost. Will that be enough? Any suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated.
 
Smallish pebbles will not be a problem. I have an area that has many of them, don't know where they came from. As I was creating my gardens, I found that this is the only spot that has them.

Back in the 30's and 40's, our lot was part of a farm and a barn stood where our back yard is. Perhaps something from way back when. I did find a horseshoe, in pretty good shape. Kinda fun to dig up the yard!
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Most roots will easily grow around pebbles. Root crops like carrots will get deformed looking if there are too many rocks so you will need to sift the soil if you want to grow really smooth ones. Otherswise I would not worry about pebbles. I have lots of small rocks in my soil and my garden is very productive.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Thank you. I don't mind some mis shaped carrots Smiler
Do you recommend a do it yourself soil test or would you send it to a lab?
 
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For less than $10, most university labs will do a comprenhensive test and if you ask for recommendations to amend your soil, give you direction.
Most send you directions for getting a good soil sample.
Those home tests are less accurate. (Make sure that you clean your spade before you take your sample..)
 
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I agree with Claude. Penn State in my area charges $9 plus postage for a complete test. Make sure that your soil is completely dry and you remove rocks before mailing, it's cheaper.

I had a lab soil test and also used an at home one which was not nearly as accurate and it was messy to use with capsules of chemicals.

I wouldn't trust one of those and they are at least $5.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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The mineral portion of your soil came from those pebbles, stones, rocks, but that does not mean they are good in the garden, in large numbers. Root crops, carrots, beets, potatoes, etc. will be most adversly affected by them because they can cause those to grow deformed, but the above ground crops would only be affected if those pebbles, stones, rocks make the soil drainage too good.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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My natural soil is mostly rocks, with a bit of dirt and clay in between them - I rake up barrows full each year, and then they come back. Surprisingly, my potatoes have done very well for the last two years, and my carrots - although i plant the short varieties because nothing can grow much deeper than 6 inches or so in that stuff. Everything else has done great - broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, herbs, radishes, etc
 

They say happiness is a thing you can't touch, a thing you can't see;

I disagree  - Scrooge -

North Carolina - Zone 7a

 

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Don't sweat pebbles, or rocks. They won't hurt a thing. It's like worrying about a blue school bus falling on you.

And like NC says, they seem to breed.
 
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For the soil test...our local county extension service sends ours to the UofGa. and the cost is $6 per test. They (extension service) also have a tool that you can borrow to do the soil test & bags to put the soil into.
Takes us about a week to get the results & our county extension agent will write recommendations on the result sheet.
Easy!
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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Live on the side of a mountain, and I'm never going to be able to get rid of all the rocks. I plant a wide assortment of vegetables in a combination of raised beds and mounded rows, and everything does well
 
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Thank you for all your great information. My backyard backs up to open space/side of a large hill, so I will stop spending all my time on rock removal (especially if "rocks breed". . . Ha ha ha). The good news is the previously removed rocks are being put to good use for decorative purposes. They are lining my gardening beds Smiler

If all the rocks/pebbles create too much draining of the soil what is the best approach? Ammendments, compost and mulch???

The first week in July I was able to fill up some planter boxes with garden soil & compost for transplanting my summer vegies into. So far the plants are growing pretty well. I just recieved some kelp amendments and worm casting that I will begin placing in the garden water 1xwk as recommended on the package. I also put together a red worm compost bin last week for future use in the garden. But my concern is the lack of earth worms and soil critters. I seem to have plenty of spiders and bees/hornets and flyes! Any suggestions??? Should I just buy some earth worms?

Is there a proper way to mulch??? I am struggling with my lemon cucumbers retaining enough water and they are about to flower. How can you use newspaper and cardboard to mulch? Can you water right over it? I have PLENTY of cardboard from our recent move here that I would like to use somehow.

I live really close to the University of California Davis, so I will look into if they do soil testing. I am trying to move forward quickly so the soil will be ready to plant fall vegies.

Thank you again for all your great information. I stumbled upon these blogs. What an excellent gardening community. Will try to post some pics of my garden progress on my next posting.
 
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Get some organic matter worked into the soil for the earthworms to eat. You don't need to purchase worms, if you create the right conditions then they will show up.

When I moved my garden to a new space which had been a lawn 2 years ago I dumped in everything that I could find including coffee grounds from Starbucks, grass clippings, old leaves, bales of straw, chicken manure from my coop, a pick up truck load of horse manure that I was able to score and of course my entire compost pile. We roto tilled the entire thing and then a month later I sent out a soil test to Penn State. The results told me that I was doing something right and I have had a very productive garden for the last 2 years with lots of earthworms.

If you don't know this Starbucks has a "Grounds for Gardeners" program where they try to lessen their waste stream and also benefit gardeners by giving away used coffee grounds in approximately 5 lb bags. It's first come first serve so you may not get any when you visit or there may be 5 bags available. You just never know but over the winter they usually have plenty and you can add it to your compost pile if not the garden.

I covered my garden in the Fall with a thick layer of straw and I was amazed at how many earthworms were under the mulch when I pulled it back in the spring.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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