Hostas forum: Will Hosta grow in heavy soil?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Nov 11, 2013 2:00 PM CST
My new place has heavy soil, kind of clay like. How much ammending will I need to do. I always had loose soil before at my old place, so I'm not sure how tolerant hosta are of heavy dirt.?
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Nov 11, 2013 2:27 PM CST
Probably a raised bed would be best. Fill it with good soil. Mix in some alfalfa and compost, etc. I do not have clay soil but I remember reading that if you dig a hole and refill it with good soil it will fill up with water and turn into a pool when there is a heavy rain. The raised beds will have good drainage and will not fill with water. Scroll down to Optimal Soil on the link.

http://learn.hostasdirect.com/hosta-info/hosta-care/hosta-pl...
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Nov 11, 2013 7:32 PM CST
Well the area now has heavy soil. I planted some hydrangeas, just dug a hole and put them in and then I filled it with good dirt. Yes I see what you mean about creating a pond. I do have the plan of coming along later (next summer and next) and digging out some of the heavy stuff a little at a time and amending to about 8-10 inches deep around the general area. Probably take me forever. My poor back is already killing me and I only did a few. The previous owners did the old lady style garden lol where you put down layers of thick black plastic and then 6 or 8 inches of creek gravel stuff (not pea gravel unfortunately). I have filled bucket after bucket by HAND, found out real fast that the shovel will not do it. The plastic is so brittle I have had no luck trying to pull it up unless the gravel is completely off of it. The dirt underneath is so hard and packed, but once I get to working it with the shovel, it's not as bad as I thought. I thought I could maybe till the row and then shovel out some of it, and then back fill it with compost. I do know hostas will live in just straight water, I grew some in my fish pond. So I don't think the moisture of heavier dirt would hurt them?I'm just not sure they can get their roots out into to grow well. I planted some nandinas and I bought some rhododendrons but I buried them in some mulch still in the pots cause it is so late in the year I didn't know what to do with them for the winter. I hope they live!
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Nov 11, 2013 7:57 PM CST
Sounds like you got a big job on your hands. I had the same problem at my last house and the plastic would also collect water when it rained and we had a ton of mosquitoes. Little by little I pulled it all out a piece at a time.
Then this house had white rocks all down one side of the house and they did not put landscape fabric under them and they sunk down into the dirt and I had to hand pick them all out so I could have a flower bed there, little by little over a two year period. I just got so use to collecting rocks, I just realized I am not actually doing that anymore. Yippee!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
Dec 7, 2013 9:38 PM CST
Soil amendment recipe and other growing tips from the American Hosta Society
http://www.americanhostasociety.org/EstablishingHosta.html#P...

Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Dec 7, 2013 10:13 PM CST
Thanks Susan!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood

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