(Human) transplant from California to Carroll County -- differences in soil conditions

Asked May 23, 2017, 8:19 PM EDT

We have just purchased a home 10 miles south of Westminster in Carroll County. Our California soil was highly alkaline and required a lot of amendment with compost and, sometimes, additional sulfur compounds. What soil problems should I anticipate when vegetable gardening in our new location?

Carroll County Maryland soil and fertility issues vegetable gardening

1 Response

Welcome to Maryland! Soils in this area tend to be on the acidic side and clayey. Vegetable garden sites often need to be amended with compost. We highly recommend that you get a soil test done for the area you want to make into a vegetable garden. That will give you a good sense of the soil composition, nutrient levels, and pH. For a vegetable garden site, we also recommend that you test for lead.

Here is a link to our soil testing information, which includes some of the common questions about soils in our area: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing. A list of recommended soil testing labs is also included on this page as well.

Once you have your soil test results, check our soil amendments and fertilizers publication for guidance on correcting any deficiencies or problems. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG42_Soil...

Here is additional information on preparing soil for a vegetable garden:
https://extension.umd.edu/growit/food-gardening-101/step-3-prepare-your-soil

CKC