Daylilies forum: Best soil mix?

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Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
Apr 4, 2016 5:37 PM CST
I'm about to fill a garden bed with 47 cubic feet of soil... I've seen recommendations for a mix of 60% top soil, 30% compost, and 10% potting soil. You all are so good! Would that be wise? Or do you think some other mixture for new daylilies and a few other perennials??

You all know I'm a newbie!
[Last edited by Barbalee - Apr 4, 2016 5:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 4, 2016 5:49 PM CST
I am sure there are as many soil recommendations as there are gardeners, but that mix sounds ok to me to start with. Over the years it will change considerably as you mulch year after year and the earthworms work their magic. The topsoil will be the anchor for your plants and the compost will provide organic matter and help with water and mineral retention and the potting soil will help provide a lighter mix for root growth and better drainage.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
Apr 4, 2016 6:16 PM CST
Thank you yet again! I hope the eathworms arrive!
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses Dog Lover
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Apr 4, 2016 7:16 PM CST

Hello and Welcome! to ATP! I agree with everything @Seedfork has mentioned already. So I'll throw my two cents in here as well.

A lot of folks as do I, believe that pine fines are a great addition to your soil. Pine fines are simply, 1/4 inch or smaller pieces of pine bark mulch. It aides in the drainage of hard clay soils. I believe it also adds some acidity to the soil. Pine fines can be a bit of a challenge to find at times but worth it IMHO.

Also, Alfalfa pellets (pure not a mix of other things) is also great as a supplement to the soil. The alfalfa adds organic material and they feed those earth worms. Being in FL I have a very sugary sandy soil and I have to add a lot of organic material, usually in the form of mushroom compost, alfalfa and a particular brand of garden soil that has pine fines in it already. This gets my garden beds where I want it.

All that said I am a rookie gardener. So, I guess the trick is to find what works best for you and don't forget to have a soil sample done to find out what you dirt really is lacking... Good Luck

I tip my hat to you.
(Georgia Native in Florida)
[Last edited by GaNinFl - Apr 4, 2016 7:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
Apr 4, 2016 7:46 PM CST
In FL, adding fresh Florida peat moss is a wonderful way to improve the soil. I use it a lot! As well as pine fines. My two favorite ingredients to add to sand.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
Apr 4, 2016 7:51 PM CST
Thank you both, Stan and Arlene. I'll hunt for both pine fines and alfalfa pellets, though I've never heard of either! The native soil here is very heavy clay, so I had the landscaper dig it all out, and I'm adding fresh. I have heard both good and bad about peat moss. I know my mother used it a lot in her beautiful gardens, but that was in Ohio, not northwest Texas. Thanks!!
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Cat Lover Daylilies Roses Lilies Irises
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Apr 4, 2016 8:25 PM CST
I think you can get Alfalfa pellets at the Feedstore Barbalee.....I myself love mushroom compost, BlackKow (composted manure), peatmoss and coarse sands in my flower beds...of course I have to add all these goodies, since all I have is limestone and rock with very little soil that the builder threw on the top of those rocks... I wish I can send you my lots of it here...
[Last edited by javaMom - Apr 4, 2016 8:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
Apr 4, 2016 8:29 PM CST
Thanks for the alfalfa source, JavaMom! I'll have to see what kind of compost the landscaper can come up with, as well as peatmoss and sand. Thank you! While mine isn't limestone, my native soil is dreadful! Whatever worms I had, they're now dug out...I'll have to see if I can find some of those, too!
[Last edited by Barbalee - Apr 4, 2016 8:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

Charter ATP Member Region: Gulf Coast I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Seller of Garden Stuff Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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Apr 5, 2016 4:44 AM CST
Welcome to APT, if you prepare the bed the worms will find you. There like us, always looking for something better.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
Apr 5, 2016 6:01 AM CST
Tee hee, Fred. You nailed it!

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