The Q&A Archives: Soil Improvement

Question: We started 2 new flower beds this year and already have plants in place. We should have done more to prepare the soil. We've added lots of peat moss to our heavy clay soil and put gypsum in one of them. Is it now too late to add some manure and what kind would be best, my husband thinks sheep is best.

Answer: Any manure is fine as long as it is well-aged, 3-6 months. Otherwise, it can burn plant roots. You can layer it on top of the soil as a mulch or try to dig it in where the plant roots aren't! Also, before every planting season, add more organic matter. Flowers are heavy "feeders" and no matter how fertile the soil, it must be continually improved to maintain it.

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