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

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7 views

Are aquarium-water nematodes harmful to plants?

I water my houseplants and potted patio plants with water from my routine aquarium maintenance. The canister filter is full of fish waste and nitrates I thought would be fantastic as an organic ...
6
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2answers
58 views

How do I determine what the soil conditions are where I live?

I am starting to get into gardening since I have a bit of garden space for the first time. When I do research online, I often see recommendations for plant soil quality like "rich, porous, somewhat ...
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1answer
33 views

What should I do with my horrible plastic-rocks-and-weeds front yard?

The front yard of my northern New Mexico house (zone 7a) is horrible. It consists of rocks and dirt with Tribulus Terrestris weeds growing in the dirt and between the rocks. Below that is a layer of ...
2
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1answer
40 views

How do trees respond to solid, isolated, chunks of minerals such as iron, placed in the root zone?

Let's say you had a cast-iron pan and an apple tree that you were going to plant. Let's say you dug a large hole, threw the pan in and planted the tree near the pan. One might imagine that the tree ...
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2answers
70 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the proper soil type for Aloe?

I have a couple aloe plants that don't seem to be really growing much. I'm pretty sure it's because I never bothered to look up what soil they really need and have just been keeping them in potting ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

What evergreens will tolerate alkaline clay soil in USDA zone 4?

Although the area where I live is famed for it's white pine they grow in sandy soils. My garden has a thin skim of topsoil over six feet of compact alkaline (ph 7) clay. My dwarf white pine is doing ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
47 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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1answer
28 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
438 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
534 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 ...
8
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4answers
403 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
202 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
votes
2answers
212 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
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
326 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
61 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
287 views

How can mushrooms be used to enhance a vegetable garden?

I have read in various places that mushrooms in lawns are an indication of woody compostable material that is being eaten by the mushrooms and that the by-product of this process will be additional ...
8
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
56 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
votes
5answers
343 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 ...
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vote
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?
4
votes
1answer
76 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
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
80 views

Transplanting into seedling starter?

I have four apple tree seedlings that are in one pot and they're getting too big to get enough light for each of them. I have some pots that I bought to transplant them, but I bought some of this. ...
7
votes
6answers
266 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
votes
1answer
176 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?
5
votes
2answers
315 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?
3
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
90 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
159 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

What is the best type of soil for growing an indoor avocado plant?

Do you know what is the best soil for an avocado plant? Would it vary depending on the breed? What would be a good recipe for this soil (for growing indoors)?
3
votes
1answer
353 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
420 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
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
114 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
votes
2answers
155 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
116 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
104 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
239 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
347 views

What are good plants for sandy soil?

My landlord asked us to take care of the overgrown yard in exchange for reduced rent. I cleared a lot of the dead weeds and piles of leaves out and it looks like the soil is mostly sand (we live near ...
3
votes
1answer
313 views

Can Thuja trees live in a “square foot garden” style container?

I have a number of young Thuja trees that I would like to grow outside my porch. However, I live in student housing and we're forbidden from altering the outside area, so I don't like the idea of ...
3
votes
4answers
580 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
3answers
5k views

What should I consider when putting raised garden beds on concrete?

I have a bunch of raised garden bed frames, and I'm considering putting them on a slab of concrete that I have in my back yard. I wanted to avoid putting them on the grass, as when I've done this ...
6
votes
4answers
358 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Why is the soil shrinking in my backyard?

In the last 6 months the level of the soil in my back yard has dropped 4-6 inches exposing all the sprinkler heads and tree roots. Whats going on?