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

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9
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4answers
657 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Plant potting mix has green balls

I have a potting mix from a majestic palm that I'm attempting to reuse, it has some odd small green balls in it that are maybe one or two mm large, perfectly spherical and uniform. I opened one and ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

How to make a galvanized steel stock tank in to self watering planter?

We got a galvanized steel stock tank (thanks Pinterest) to use as a planter for a raised flower bed similar in size and weight to this stock tank. How would we add a self watering tray/container/tube ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

What is this white fibrous thing showing on top of moist soil?

I'm trying to germinate chives using a soil for seeds. I've gone through the process of watering and draining the soil after putting in the seeds. For two days now, I've been seeing this cloudy spongy ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

How should I remove long grasses/roots to prepare a fresh bed?

I am currently attempting to remove a bunch of dead grass in a roughly 5'x5' plot. When the grass fully grows sometime in early-to-mid summer, they are like very small, long-grassed shrubs, sort of ...
5
votes
2answers
392 views

What are good plants for sandy soil?

I live in the San Francisco Bay area and 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
138 views

Is it possible to do my own extensive soil/organic matter testing?

I've read the posts on soil testing, and I realize it's cheap and widely available through local universities, etc. Question: Is it possible to do my own soil testing? Are there some compounds that ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Will top dressing over moss kill the moss?

I have some very mossy areas in my lawn, I began to address this with soil samples, aeration, branch removal for more sun and of moss killer last summer/fall. This spring I plan to top dress areas of ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Shall I remove pea-sized rocks and gravels from soil before planting a flowering cherry?

I plan to plant a flowering cherry (upright form) in the edge of my garden, but there are quite a lot pea-sized rocks and gravels in the soil (as shown in the pics). I wonder if I need to clean all of ...
6
votes
3answers
86 views

How to 'clean' topsoil of weeds & pests before giving it to a friend

We're removing a layer of topsoil from a section our yard to lay brick paving. A friend who donated the bricks has expressed an interest in taking this topsoil for their own garden in exchange ...
4
votes
4answers
70 views

How do I prevent my soil from compacting?

I have several raised beds for vegetables and I don't walk on them but they still compact over time from watering. What can I add to the soil to keep it from compacting?
5
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
372 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Will burning sticks in my garden affect the soil?

I live in a northern climate and won't be planting my garden for 4-6 weeks. Will burning sticks in my garden negatively effect the soil?
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Why do plants require or prefer their specific type of soil? Is it fine if the same type of soil is used for all of them?

At my home I have got a few different plants (Aloe, Rose, Neem, Pisum, Air plant, Lucky Bamboo). I got some type of soil (mixed with compost) from the plant nursery, and I'm wondering if using the ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Curious to know why over-watering leads to root-rot yet the same plant can be grown in water? [duplicate]

I bought a few pothos plants from home depot last summer, and from my investigation, it seemed they all died from root rot. I tried every thing I could to save them but they just would not stop. But ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

Can I measure chemical elements in soil myself?

What sort of equipment would one need to ensure that plant soil contains the right concentration of the 13 mineral nutrients necessary for plant growth? Specifically, can this be measured in real-time ...
14
votes
3answers
980 views

How should I till topsoil into thick clay in small garden beds?

My house is in an area where the native earth is basically solid clay. This means that wet or dry, you can't dig with a shovel and get crumbling dirt — it always clumps together, unless you ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Are aquarium-water nematodes harmful to plants?

I water my houseplants and potted patio plants with the water drained from my aquarium filter as part of its routine maintenance. The canister filter is full of fish waste and nitrates that would ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Tomato plant discolored and dried out

I have a home garden with tomatoes and peppers. The peppers grow great every year, but often the tomatoes end up discolored with dried out leaves. I recently did a Manutec pH test on the soil and ...
6
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
82 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
142 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
50 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
40 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
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
218 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
433 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
176 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
349 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
127 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
346 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 ...
9
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
95 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
78 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
60 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
92 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
125 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
87 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. ...
8
votes
6answers
395 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
392 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
540 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
71 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
93 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
124 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 ...