The Q&A Archives: How To Plant

Question: I am from Florida and unsure on how to plant
in our clay soil. Do I need to use peat moss
or something else to give my plants a proper start?

Answer: The answer to your question depends to some extent on what you are trying to grow. For a vegetable garden or flower bed, you would need to add a generous amount of organic matter such as peat moss, old rotted leaves, compost, or aged stable manure and bedding along with a little ordinary coarse sand to help improve the structure of the soil. You might also need to add some lime if the pH is very low. You might also find that a raised bed is more successful for some plants. The best way to figure out what you need to do is to run some basic soil tests and find out what your soil does and does not need. Your county extension (292-5950) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

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