Daylilies forum: SOS! Horrible soil. Any suggestions.

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Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
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tgarden711
Jul 9, 2013 6:43 AM CST
I have poor clay soil normally and my daylilies have done fine with soil amendments such as compost but recently my husband cut down some trees and cleared an area for more garden and sun (and more daylilies if I get my way) but the soil there is not red it is gray and my husband says it is because of decaying leaves, it really looks icky. What amendments will improve that?
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jul 9, 2013 11:36 AM CST
Hope someone from your part of the country (?) pitches in with some advise. Would you be able to try a small test area to see how plants would grow.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
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philljm
Jul 9, 2013 12:51 PM CST
Or have you thought about raising the garden slightly? Perhaps brick or wood around the outside, then a layer of manure & soil?

I would think that the leaves would make the soil richer, wouldn't it? I wonder if you dig a hole and see if you have lots of worms in there if that would help?

Just throwing out thoughts ~Jan
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Jul 9, 2013 1:15 PM CST
Can you send a soil sample out for analysis to a local ag extension?
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jul 9, 2013 1:21 PM CST
Have you done any soil testing? How about water drainage testing (percolation?) Here in Ohio, on my property, I have clay, and the water will not drain. Period. If I do not add tons of amendments, and raise the beds, plants do poorly or die.

You mention that the soil is red and not gray? Does ths mean that you are in one of the southern states?

I would suggest that you might try contacting your county extension office for a list of how to reach the master gardeners in your area. They will be most familiar with the soils in your county and the best ways to improve them.

For improving the soil to grow only daylilies, you might talk to your nearest daylily society and see if any members live near you to ask.

Reason I'm recommending this is what works here in Ohio, with our soil may be the wrong thing to add in, say, Georgia.
[Last edited by daylily - Jul 10, 2013 8:23 AM (+)]
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Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
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floota
Jul 9, 2013 4:45 PM CST
Years ago ( don't think I could duplicate the amount of work now!) I had truckloads of topsoil brought in and did raised beds to combat the heavy clay here. They are all raised anywhere from about 6" to a foot in height. I learned after the first truckload that pure topsoil is terribly heavy,as I nearly ruined my back hauling the wheelbarrow back and forth. After that, I had the garden center custom mix me a blend of 2/3 topsoil and 1/3 "soil conditioner" ( a mix of old organic mulches - hardwood, pinebark, cypress, etc.) That makes the perfect loamy soil. ) It is a lot of work initially - I dug up my entire garden and then replanted EVERYTHING but the improved soil was worth it. I now add compost and soil conditioner periodically and always amend when adding new plants.

Good luck!
Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Greenhouse Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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tgarden711
Jul 10, 2013 7:22 AM CST
I live in KY in zone 6. My daylilies have done fine in the other part of the yard with amendments to the red clay but this soil is gray, I do not see many worms but there are a few. Thanks for your help, I am considering raised beds.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jul 10, 2013 8:05 AM CST
tgarden711 just to let you know on your profile you can add your state and zone. That way when folks are looking at your posts they can tell at a glance your info this might be helpful in getting faster replies. Let us know how your new garden project goes.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

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