Brand new to this board and also to organic gardening. Have raised a vegetable garden off and on for many years. Only using the plant it, water it, pick it and eat it.
In the last 5 or 6 years I have come across a problem where this method doesn't work very well. Bought a place next to the lake and made a garden there. Heavy clay, when dry I cannot dig. Water twice a week with rainbird sprinkler for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, usually not enough. Water it for 2 1/2 hours, too much. Can't seem to get it exactly right. Also at first of season, vegetables seem to be fine and as season goes on they get smaller. At the end of the season yellow squash is a mottled yellow and green, sort of like a zebra. Watermelons and cantalopes taste like it is sugar free from the start.
Have been reading books and reading posts on this site on getting the soil corrected. Rather large 75 feet by 60 feet. Need input on what and how much to add to soil. Have started a large compost pile, although not enough for this garden.
Read that adding gypsum to soil would help loosen it. Is this so? If so, how much for 1,000 Sq ft? Book stated 10 to 15 lbs., gypsum bag lists 40 to a 100 lbs. for sodium control, I hope not this much. Using a cheap pH meter I get a reading of 6 to 7.1 on different areas. 4 to 6 inches of compost I do not have or cannot afford all at once for a garden this size. Would appreciate any help on what else to add and how much.
I have many more questions but this post is probably long enough.