excess water problem

Hi All,
My pepper plants are starting to look yellowish and don't appear to doing well. From other posts and the look of the soil make me think too much water is the issue. I created a new raised bed this year in a new location along a fence which is only partially enclosed. It seems that much of the water from the backyard and likely the neighbors seems to run down into and alongside this bed. I put store brought soil on top of our terrible clay soil. It worked well last year in a different area with no drainage issues. Is there anything I can do to help dry out the soil?
Even if I can't save things for this year, any ideas on how to fix the bed so I do not have the same issue next year?
Thanks!
Craig K Staten Island, NY
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some people grow peppers in pots, so i conclude that peppers don't need a lot of root area.
maybe there's something in the neighbor's runoff???
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I don't know the orientation of your bed or the slope, if any that it rests on... but try raising the bed a few notches and mixing sand in with the soil at a ratio of 1 part sand to 2-3 parts soil.... some peat moss tilled into the mix would acidify the soil slightly and make for optimum growing conditions for the peppers (they like slightly acidic soil). Digging shallow ditches around the bed may do some good too... but do fill the ditches with gravel as you don't want storm erosion to take out your whole bed. Alternately, just go with the container idea mentioned by the guy who replied to your message first and plant some sort of moisture-loving plants there instead.... irises, cannas, possibly bog lilies of some sort.
Best of luck to you and here's to a pleasant summer. :-)

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Craig wrote:

Add compost to the clay. Add gypsum to the clay. Add sand to the clay. All will help the clay drain and the compost will also make a dramatic change in the fertility of the soil.
Bottom line: fix the clay. Your problem is not how much water you got but your inability to get rid of the excess. It would not be unreasonable to use a double-dug method in order to apply the amendments deep. This might be a tough job, but would only need to be done once if organic amendments are kept current thereafter.
Bill
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Craig wrote:

Add compost to the clay. Add gypsum to the clay. Add sand to the clay. All will help the clay drain and the compost will also make a dramatic change in the fertility of the soil.
Bottom line: fix the clay. Your problem is not how much water you got but your inability to get rid of the excess. It would not be unreasonable to use a double-dug method in order to apply the amendments deep. This might be a tough job, but would only need to be done once if organic amendments are kept current thereafter.
Bill
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Craig wrote:

Add compost to the clay. Add gypsum to the clay. Add sand to the clay. All will help the clay drain and the compost will also make a dramatic change in the fertility of the soil.
Bottom line: fix the clay. Your problem is not how much water you got but your inability to get rid of the excess. It would not be unreasonable to use a double-dug method in order to apply the amendments deep. This might be a tough job, but would only need to be done once if organic amendments are kept current thereafter.
Bill
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Bill wrote:
Sorry about the multiple posts. My news agent kept telling me that the message hadn't been sent ... so I resent them. Several times.
Bill
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