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Soil testing showed a pH range of 8-10, with no access to sulphate returning crop waste and jungle mulch was the only option. Returning organic matter has shown pH can be lowered to 6.5-7 the ideal range for vegetable and fruit gardens. Other strategies to improve tropical soils are the planting of ground and tree legumes, water harvesting techniques to avoid loss and run off. 

Vege garden bed 1  231110 014

The ceasing of bare soil cropping and designing garden beds to hold humus and avoid leaching are a necessity. Dig long trenches to a depth of 1-1.5m and 1-2m wide or 2 arm spans to avoid compacting soil when walking on. Line trenches with cardboard, paper, green leafy plant material or plastic. Be careful not to create a pond that can fill up, allow water to drain leaving an end unsealed.  Raised beds up to 750mm above ground level lined with cardboard and filled with mulch and soil acheive the same result.



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