Tagged Questions

The growing medium for plants, primarily consisting of rock fragments, organic material, water, and organisms.

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1answer
34 views

What is the ideal state of symbiotic balance in soil called?

I have been looking into organic gardening recently and I remember seeing something that I found very interesting. It had to do with the soil being in perfect balance with bacteria, insects, and the ...
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1answer
25 views

Amending a barren yard with compost: dedicated weed barrier or no?

I've got a pretty typically barren New Mexico (zone 7a) yard, and I'm thinking of trying some intensive amendment to control weeds, improve the soil, and add some visual interest. What I've read here ...
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2answers
41 views

How far down do I need to dig when sifting out rocks from a garden?

I'm still working on sifting through an area of my backyard in order to make a garden for next year. I'm pretty sure it used to be a gravel lot, since all the rocks are the ones found in gravel ...
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2answers
402 views

Does commercial (bagged) soil eventually expire/die?

I have several piles of commercial, bagged top soil and potting mix that have been lying in my garage for at least 10 years. I'm doing some renovations and can really use some extra soil for some new ...
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4answers
367 views

Do any plants add nutrients back into the soil as they grow?

It seems reasonable that there ought to be at least a few symbiotic plant varieties that benefit from improving soil condition for other plants. If not that, are there plants that essentially improve ...
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1answer
197 views

Can the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) build up toxicity in my soils?

I am doing some experimentation with Ricinus communis, which I know contains the toxin Ricin. Through my own experience and research I am not concerned with interacting with the plant or touching it. ...
3
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2answers
181 views

Should I remove old rotten tree roots or leave them in place when I regrade my yard?

We just demolished an old shed (we recently bought the house) and we found old rotten tree roots hidden under this shed. (it is the main root and its ramifications) What should I do with it? My ...
3
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2answers
122 views

Can I use cedar hog fuel instead of clean fill to bring up my soil line?

I have a really uneven property, but I'm not a big fan of clean fill. Can I use cedar hog fuel instead of the fill? My plan is put around 12"- 24" of cedar hog fuel and put on the top about 6"-12" of ...
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2answers
318 views

May have planted my tree wrong… is it too late to dig it up and replant it?

I live in climate zone 7a in New Mexico, and I planted a pear tree in my backyard three days ago. Following the directions on the tag, I dug a hole twice the diameter and depth of the root ball and ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

What is a soil spreader called in the U.S? Are they available here?

I just watched a YouTube video on how to top dress your lawn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M77S86Sib1I The guy who does the video is in Australia. He has a handy tool that he calls a soil ...
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5answers
2k views

How can I prevent stones from rising to the soil surface each year?

My allotment has a lot of flint stone (UK, Bucks area). I am preparing the beds for the first time, and have been reducing the amount of stone as much as possible by raking and removing stones as I ...
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2answers
52 views

Wooden containers finished with Danish Oil- should I line them?

I have some wooden wine boxes that I am going to use for lettuces. I am using Danish Oil to finish the boxes (two coats) so they can be a bit waterproofed. I might also add some corner reinforcements. ...
4
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1answer
69 views

Requirements for successful Blueberry bush planting

We tried planting Blueberries last year, and went 0 for 3. We tried to follow the instructions: Planted in a mix of 50/50 mulch and organic gardening soil Watered infrequently but heavily (1/week, ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Does aerating water to raise the pH in nutrient solutions work well?

As anyone who has ever had to tend to a pool painfully discovered, aerating water causes the oxygen to react with something and raise the pH. From what I have read it converts contents of the water ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What soil problem would cause fruit and vegetable to grow very small?

One that is lawn clipping compost with a pH 6.0 where everything grows pretty well. The other garden is 40cm deep of supposedly Rich Organic Garden Soil but has a pH of 7.0. The only things that grow ...
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1answer
344 views

Does a pine needle mulch make your soil acidic?

This article from Colorado State University states that alkaline soils resist change but several years of heavy pine needle applications would create a somewhat more acid soil. This article ...
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6answers
242 views

What are the pros/cons of different mulches?

I know there will be differing opinions on this subject, from different people. I, for one, have always used bark mulch, and can attest to the fact that when used properly, it will build soil and grow ...
6
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1answer
120 views

What is a perched water table?

In gardening, especially container gardening, you will run into the phenomenon called a 'perched water table' (PWT). What is a perched water table, and how does it work?
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2answers
301 views

What do people mean when they talk about soil going sour?

I've read a couple answers that have mentioned soil going sour. I've gathered that it's a bad thing, but what does it mean when soil goes sour? What causes it to sour?
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2answers
64 views

Is there an accurate way to test a mixture of multiple soils?

Last night I started putting together a mixture of soil for blueberry plants. This mixture includes: top-soil garden soil organic mushroom compost sphagnum moss (I also have ...
4
votes
5answers
322 views

Would it be better for me to set up my garden in the fall, or wait until spring?

I recently moved into a house with a yard, and am eager to start getting a garden started. The ground here isn't really clay, but it's not really dirt that I would want to use for gardening. It's ...
2
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2answers
85 views

Do herbs grown in containers need to be repotted?

I'm trying to grow some herbs (basil, coriander, and chives) in pots on my kitchen windowsill. This seems to work pretty well for a while, but usually they die after a little bit (well, the basil ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Protecting the soil with a layer of Granite or Stone

I did not find any information on the web about this. I am currently thinking about protecting the soil of several pots on my west Germany southside balcony before the sun and any kind of stranger ...
3
votes
1answer
330 views

Why do blueberries need acidic soil?

I know that blueberries need soil in the range of ph 4-5, but no one ever says why they need the pH in that range. I've heard that it may be because of a lack of available iron at higher pH, and that ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

How can I improve the soil in a new allotment, which is covered in wild grass?

I am in the process of getting hold of a standard style UK allotment, 10 poles or about 10x25m (2722.5 sq. ft., .052 acres) The plot will be covered mostly in wild tall grasses, and is likely to have ...
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5answers
397 views

What is the advantage of a raised bed over clay soil vs just amending the clay soil?

Assuming: There are no tree roots or moles around to worry about. I am young and don't mind bending over the extra 6-12 inches. What is the advantage of building a raised bed vs just heavily ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Should I do a soil test before or after amending soil?

I want to plant blackberries, raspberries, and a vegetable garden in the heavy clay soil in my backyard. So, I plan to heavily amend it by spreading 3" expanded shale and 6" of compost and working ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

What is the optimal raised bed depth for Brassicas?

I built two large raised beds in my new garden, but couldn't manage to fill them to the top. The bottom is closed with cardboard and has a layer of prunings and hay 1-3 cm deep. I planted anyway 10 ...
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2answers
92 views

Does peat moss negate the effects of perlite?

I am repurposing a fire pit into a raised garden bed. From my readings, it seems like the popular soil mixes for raised garden beds include peat moss, compost, topsoil, and vermiculite. I have the ...
5
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2answers
140 views

What insects killed this red cabbage?

Watering the lettuces, I spotted a Red Cabbage head leaning sideways on the ground. On close inspection, here's what I saw: Three little worm-like bugs having a feast of the bottom of the stalk of ...
6
votes
2answers
97 views

Do nutrients always flow downward in soil?

I've been reading and watching planting techniques. Many people place fertilizer at the bottom of the planting hole before putting in the plant. The first example is from Osmocote's fertilizer ...
2
votes
3answers
235 views

What is the scientific term that describes soil that resists water?

I know this is an odd one, but I know there is a special word that horticulturists use to describe soil that is so arid that it resists water. So, when it rains, the water initially rushes off of the ...
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3answers
111 views

What is this houseplant, and why has it been dropping leaves?

I bought this plant from Ikea about 1 year ago. Everything was fine until I decided to move it to a larger pot. I used soil for vegetables and I don't think the she likes it... the leafs started ...
3
votes
4answers
427 views

How can I get a map of my plot of land for planning purposes?

I'm studying permaculture and I would like to design before I start doing anything. Is there any software that could give me a map of my plot of land, like from Google maps or from sigpac in Spain? ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

What's the purpose of mixing native soil with store bought soil?

Question On most store-bought soil, it gives instructions to mix the soil with equal parts of your native soil. Why should I create a mixture instead of using the store-bought soil purely? Anecdote ...
6
votes
4answers
348 views

Does soil need sunlight?

My plan is to keep garden fabric on my vegetable garden year round to keep the weeds down (especially in the spring before planting) but my in-laws claimed it's bad for the soil. I would put the new ...
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3answers
38 views

How do I determine soil moisture based on information from online weather systems?

I want to build an automatic garden/lawn watering system based on a small computer. The system is connected to the Internet and is able to learn the current weather conditions and the short-term ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What can I use a bag of sterilised loam for?

At the back of my greenhouse I have a bag of pale brown crumbly earth labelled "Sterilised Loam". I'm not really sure what sterilised loam is. I never bought the stuff and I can't remember where it ...
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2answers
122 views

Does new lawn/sod need aeration?

I recently bought a house and am new to gardening and lawn care. Some guys stopped by and asked me if I need "aeration service." I was wondering if I need it for my new lawn/sod. I still don't see the ...
3
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2answers
84 views

What should I do about landscape rocks in my garden plot?

I have a brand new house and garden plot; it is currently sod so I have to dig it this first year and amend the soil. I have run into a section that seems like it used to be a rock path or drive way, ...
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0answers
57 views

What area is needed to sustain a person for a year? [closed]

I was wondering, what area space (m²) do I need to plant rice/bean in order to sustain one person for a year?
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2answers
40 views

Portable Soil and Compost Testing Kit

I am growing vegetables. I need soil and compost testing kits for Soil Ph, SOil EC and compost nutrients test. Can any one suggest me, which instruments will be good with reasonable price. Thank ...
2
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2answers
185 views

Does working leftover grass into your soil do anything?

I have a couple bags of grass shavings leftover from mowing the lawn and was wondering if I work the grass into the soil would that accomplish anything meaningful?
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2answers
174 views

Why use potting mix instead of natural soil?

Being a layman who is thinking of starting to garden in the yard I have a question in mind. Why does one need to buy potting mix and why not use natural soil for gardening? I live in Melbourne ...
7
votes
3answers
554 views

What should I do to rescue grass from a petrol spill?

We had some less than stellar workmen do some work a few weeks ago, and one of them spilled a substantial amount of petrol onto our front lawn. There is now an area about 100cm in diameter where the ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

What exactly happens to potting soil if it is stored for a long period of time?

The story: I have bought a few sacks of "Plagron Royal Mix" here in Chile. This soil is supposed to be sufficient for my "tomatoes" for roughly six weeks. After four weeks in the soil I noticed ...
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2answers
819 views

How to grow Trailing Rosemary as a ground cover in very heavy clay?

I want to cover a large area that is on a steep slope with ground cover. There is absolutely no soil at all, it's all pure clay: hard rock when dry and soft when wet. I was thinking of putting a ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Is mulch or topsoil better for new lawn in clay soil?

We just built a new home and the back yard has quite a bit of clay in it. We are planning on seeding the yard in the next month (September). I'm trying to decide between topsoil (4-6 inches) or ...
5
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2answers
143 views

What products should I fill raised garden beds with?

I've built a raised garden bed and would like to know what types of soil or mix I should use to fill it with? Should it be a mixture of top soil and compost? I'm looking for an affordable option. ...
2
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1answer
161 views

What kind of land and weather is required to cultivate apples?

Actually I am a software developer, eager to do cultivation. We are cultivating tea as a family profession. I want to know, what kind of soil and environment or needed to cultivate apples?