What do I do with plain old dirt where I want to plant? - Knowledgebase Question

fontana, Ca
Question by cmarthastyle
September 23, 2008
What do I do with plain old dirt where I want to plant? I recently had a planter bed made about 2 1/2
feet tall and about 30 to 40 feet long. It is filled with 2 feet of what I only know as dirt. Can I use this and how would I prepare it for planting some pigmy palms for example? This dirt came from an area in my yard where I had a cement slab put in and where St. Augustine grass has grown successfully.It is clean dirt but I dont' know what to do with it. HELP!

Answer from NGA
September 23, 2008


Your plain old dirt can be turned into rich, loamy soil with the addition of organic matter. If you need additional soil to fill your planter bed you can purchase 3-way topsoil (contains compost, sand and garden soil). If you do this, mix your plain old dirt and the topsoil together, then spread a 4-5" layer of organic matter over the top and mix it in well. If you don't need to purchase topsoil to fill your bed, you can amend your plain old soil with 4-5" of organic matter. After planting, spread another 2-3" of organic matter over the bare soil to help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of next gardening season dig this organic matter into the soil and replace it with a new layer. A few years of incorporating organic matter into your plain old dirt will transform it into rich, loamy soil.

Best wishes with your new planter beds.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:



[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara)"