The Q&A Archives: Soil Preparation - Flowers

Question: I'm starting soil preparation for a planting area for flowers and flowering shrubs. I'm thinking about adding some potash from my burn pile to the planting area and covering it with compost. I want to finish this by the end of Nov and let it set undisturbed until next spring.
What do you think of my plan?

Answer: Might be a good plan, especially if your soil tends to be acidic. Why not have a soil test before adding ashes? If you do decide to add ashes (a good source of potash and calcium), the standard recommendation is 25 pounds per 1000 square feet, applied every 2-3 years. Fall is a good time to amend the soil with compost (and ashes, if your soil test indicates you need them). The materials will age during the winter, break down, and mellow the soil by spring planting time.

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