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Sandy soil? Clay soil? The best soil needs moisture-holding ability as well as draining ability. The perfect balance can be attained by adding organic amendments such as pine fines or composted leaves/bark/manure. For nutrient needs, please utilize your local Ag Extension office and have your soil tested so you know which fertilizer and amendments need to be added. In some cases, nothing needs to be added!
Aug 16, 2012 6:57 AM CST
|A - #1, most important thing we can do to insure our plants' success, and reduce our own workload! |
Thanks for the reminder, Shoe.
I've been eying my *finishing* manure pile and gearing up to load, haul and toss!
Newest Interest: Rock Gardens
Aug 16, 2012 8:55 AM CST
|GREAT advice Shoe! Thank you! |
ALL THINGS PLANTS ~ Garden Art ~ Purslane & Portulaca ~ CUBITS ~ Trust in the Lord ~ Heart Strength ~
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Aug 16, 2012 2:20 PM CST
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Aug 16, 2012 6:01 PM CST
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!
Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!
Aug 16, 2012 7:54 PM CST
Thanks for your replies. Sorry I'm late in responding, has been a big day here. (Anyone else remember getting their child off to college? Oh m'gosh...!) :>)
"In some case nothing needs to be added!
Sorry for the typo...my speed typing has done me in before. That should be...'In some cases", plural. My bad!
Chelle... "gearing up to load, haul and toss!" Heheheh, sounds like a form of exercise, doesn't it!? And it's really all about improvement. (Then again, so is exercise but your wording sound more fun.)
Happy Gardening, Folks!
Aug 16, 2012 7:59 PM CST
|It's my fault, too, Shoe. Sorry 'bout that. I fixed the typo!|
Aug 16, 2012 8:31 PM CST
|Thanks, dave. Much obliged! |
Hate to make ya'll have to edit everyone's misspelling and such. You have enough to do.
Aug 17, 2012 4:14 PM CST
|Dear Shoe, great piece! When I first went to Horticultural college, the first thing they taught us was how to single and then double dig, and add manure or other organic matter. We have a clay soil, and as clay is the finest soil particle there is, we added lime as it flocculates it, i.e. make its it into bigger pieces by changing the colloids in it. The problem is it knocks your pH balance skywards, but pH test kits are really cheap and easy to use, so as manure is acid and fights the lime, you can get it back to 7 which is neutral, or even more acidic using peat! But it has to be sphagnum moss peat, as sedge peat is alkaline.|
We have a stables near us, and if you take your own sacks the manure is free, ideal for the garden!
Hope you are well?
Aug 17, 2012 11:21 PM CST
|Howdy, Neil. Always good to see you posting.|
I agree. I often get "stable sweepings" from local horse farms, a mix of manure and sawdust. Most folks clean their stalls and throw it all in a pile, huge piles eventually, and it all breaks down. The best stuff is at least a year old, very crumbly and ingredients are "unidentifiable"...exactly what you are looking for in a such a product!
I do lime the soil from time to time but usually only every 3 to 5 years and mainly to bring the pH up to neutral. I don't think I want to lime it every year then add something else to bring the pH down. I'm the lazy sort, ya know! :>)
Gypsum would be a good ingredient to use to help with "crumbing" up the soil, don't you think? And it would not alter the pH while doing so. Or do you have access to gypsum over there?
Shoe (who enjoys your photos very much!)
Aug 18, 2012 3:20 AM CST
|Dear Shoe, yes we can get gypsum over here! A lot of the areas in and around London and into Kent are covered with River silt from the Thames and Medway. This sits on top of clay, either normal brown clay or the dreaded blue clay! That lots then sits on top of chalk, what a mixture! So our pH is high anyway, and needs bringing down. We do have a lot of acid soil areas, and indeed peat bogs and heathland! Everyone may think that the UK is a large place, but no matter where you are, for in the middle you are never more than 66 miles away from the sea. From Cornwall (Lands End) to the very tip of Scotland is only 867 miles long. In the UK we have every soil type you could every think of. Kent also is known as the garden of England and has some amazing loam soils, ideal for growing just about anything!|
Regards from a humid England.
Aug 19, 2012 4:51 PM CST
|Wow, what colorful plants. Lupines? Those sure are some very bright colors! Love 'em!|