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Amending Soil and Fertilizing Daylilies in Our Part of the South

By tink3472
October 12, 2012

I have a lot of people ask what we use in our beds or what we fertilize with. We live in Cantonment, FL which is not far from Pensacola, FL and a hop, jump, and a skip away from Alabama. Here in this neck of the woods we have either sand for soil or mucky, yucky black clay.

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Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Oct 11, 2012 8:05 PM CST
Even though some of us live in climates that differ from yours, this is indeed very helpful.
You show a variety of products that are good to know about. Just checked on alfalfa
pellets today at Tractor Supply and they have it.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Oct 12, 2012 6:57 AM CST
Nice information to know! And your last raised bed picture is proof that your methods work Smiling

Very nice I tip my hat to you.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Dot or Dorothy Parker
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Ladylovingdove
Oct 12, 2012 7:50 AM CST
Michelle,

You are just too nice to post all these things for us. I enjoy seeing how other people plant their stuff.

Dot
Name: Leslie Mauck
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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LALAMBCHOP
Oct 12, 2012 9:00 AM CST
Great info, Michelle. I'm learning a lot from you! I'll put Daniel's on my list. Thank you. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Oct 12, 2012 3:30 PM CST
GREAT article! Thank you! Thumbs up
Name: pam
NW Florida (Zone 8b)
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pestee45
Nov 4, 2012 6:14 PM CST
Hi, Just wanted to say thanks for the info and your bed looks great. From a neighbor north of you in Barrineau Park.
Pam
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Nov 14, 2012 7:02 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Dec 16, 2012 6:08 PM CST
Saw this on random idea today! Great article, I know some of these things you already told me but the step by step instructions and pictures are incredible! I love that bed. Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Dec 18, 2012 11:18 PM CST
mistyfog said:Even though some of us live in climates that differ from yours, this is indeed very helpful.
You show a variety of products that are good to know about. Just checked on alfalfa
pellets today at Tractor Supply and they have it.


What section of Tractor's Supply do they have the alfalfa pellets?

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Dec 18, 2012 11:19 PM CST
Ladylovingdove said:Michelle,

You are just too nice to post all these things for us. I enjoy seeing how other people plant their stuff.

Dot


I agree nodding Hurray! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up Group hug

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Dec 18, 2012 11:21 PM CST
virginiarose said:Saw this on random idea today! Great article, I know some of these things you already told me but the step by step instructions and pictures are incredible! I love that bed. Thumbs up


I agree nodding Hurray! Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Dec 19, 2012 8:11 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Marilyn said:What section of Tractor's Supply do they have the alfalfa pellets?


It will be in the feed section. Around $14 for a 50lb bag.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Dec 20, 2012 4:44 AM CST
Thanks Dave! I tip my hat to you.

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Apr 30, 2013 7:01 PM CST
Thanks very much, I like the way you make soil!

"First, a dump truck of pine bark!"

Do you find that the beds subside much after 2-3 years as the bark decays?

Did I read it right that you didn't add any of your clay soil at all? I think a LITTLE clay is great for buffering mineral nutrients and making clods and peds more solid. If you want any clay in the mix, I would break the clay up first by mixing it finely with sand or sandy soil. Then add and mix well some fine bark and compost to keep it from clumping again. Then I'ld add about 5% or 10% of that mix to the great organic soil you described.
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
May 1, 2013 4:35 AM CST
Hi Rick,

The first year I got a load of pine bark it came in a semi truck. The only reason we get a dump truck now is because the semi can't get in where I'm at now.

We do have to add bark each year to the beds, but I'm not sure if its because it breaks down or because we loose a bit when we dig the plants and divide each year. Also it depends on the size of bark that is used; the bigger size won't break down as fast as the finer stuff.
I would say if I didn't dig the beds up I probably could wait a couple of years before adding about 3 or 4 inches more of bark.

No I do not mix any of the clay in at all. I have tried mixing sand with the clay and it was just a big mess. If I was planting directly in the ground I would have to work with the clay more to get it to be usable but it's just simpler to do it the way we do.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 1, 2013 12:56 PM CST
>> it's just simpler to do it the way we do.

I believe it! And your soil quality must be excellent, as compared to "less awful than pure clay", which is the state of many of my beds at this time.

>> I have tried mixing sand with the clay and it was just a big mess.

I agree. Unless you add at least 20% compost, sand doesn't help clay. Clay seems to need 50% or more compost if you only add compost. And I have to renew the compost often.

The combination of compost PLUS sand seemed to help clay more than either one alone.

BUT, it seems to me that with my clay, adding only 20% compost with NO sand doesn't help much, and as soon as the compost decomposes, I'm back to pure clay pudding.

It seemed that when I added not-enough-compost, even a little sand really helped the clay stay friable and less pliable. I imagine that it helped the amended clay stay as discrete clods or peds after I "fluffed it up". Pure clay just flows and deforms and glues back together until it's all one continuous puddle.

I haven't done a comparison test of clay-plus-bark-fines-only, compared to clay-plus-compost-only or clay-plus-sand-only. . Now I just add as much compost as I can afford, and as much fine bark and grit-sized bark as I can afford, then add as much very coarse sand or grit (crushed rock) as I can afford and carry (HEAVY!).

Your idea of starting with a matrix of 90% dime-and-nickle-size bark sounds wonderfully aerated AND organic.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 29, 2014 1:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 21, 2013 6:12 PM CST
Michele - That was an excellent article! It was worth at least 5 acorns from me! Thank you so much for some awesome information! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Oct 21, 2013 6:20 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #501593 (17)
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
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virginiarose
Oct 21, 2013 6:46 PM CST
I agree Hurray! Hurray!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Oct 21, 2013 8:31 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 29, 2014 1:54 PM CST
Hi again, Michelle.

I appreciated this just as much on the second reading, and NOW I have some acorns in the bank to show my appreciation!

Re-reading it, I wondered about how much water is retained by the very coarse bark mix. I guess all the organic fertilizer-like additions help hold water. And, as the bark breaks down over 2-5 years, the crumbled fibers must hold a good amount of water. Does that sound right?

How often do you have to water a new bed? Can you water less often after the first 3-4 years?

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