Red Clay And Raised Beds: Brand New To Gardening
I know there must be a bazillion questions of how to grow anything but pine trees and dogwoods and kudzu in thicker than thick Georgia Red Clay, but I need some specific questions answered.
I'm making a raised bed, south facing side with plenty of sun, slight downward slope. I'm planting sungold tomatoes and sweet peppers. I want to amend the clay instead of just dumping new soil on top of it.
1) Sand or no sand? If so, what kind? And how much?
I've seen so many different answers to that question my head is spinning. All i know at the moment is that not to use play sand, but what kind and where can I get it from if I do want to add sand?
2) How much and what kind of compost to add?
3) Is drainage going to be a big problem? Like enough to kill my plant?
I know clay doesn't drain well, but will the slope help? Or should I dig a trench of some sort to help drain it?
4) What kind of plants should I grow with my tomatoes and peppers?
Any plants that are particularly helpful in repelling pests, or any pests that are particular problems to gardens here? Other than squirrels. Those things are monsters.
5) How to save a peach tree?
We have a peachtree that miraculously grew in our backyard! No assistance whatsoever. It's being swallowed at the moment by a ton of weeds and such but my mom wants to cut down the surrounding foliage and help it grow. Any suggestions?