Preparation to plant - Knowledgebase Question

Miami Lake, Fl
Avatar for lodelahoz
Question by lodelahoz
October 15, 2009
I am finishing a construction, the soil is mixed with stone, concrete and others materials, I would like to know if I have to remove all those materials before to plant or may I leave them there. Could you provide me an step by step guide how to plant?

Answer from NGA
October 15, 2009
I would remove anything larger than fist-sized, especially construction debris. Concrete chunks can leach chemicals into the soil which can change the soil's pH and make your plants struggle. After you've removed the majority of the rocks, concrete and debris, add organic matter. Start by spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the garden bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your perennials or veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden. Best wishes with your garden!

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