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

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

At my home I have got few different plants (Aloe, Rose, Neem, Pisum, Air plant, Lucky Bamboo) I have got same type of soil (mixed with compost) from plant nursery, so I am wondering that using same ...
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7answers
188 views

soil testing, what tools would you suggest

I have a large pile of ashes from burning leaves, wood, limbs, pine straw etc, and I've read that ash can be helpful to plants if my soil pH is not over 7.5. My questions is, how would you recommend ...
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2answers
371 views

Stones in my plot

I have a plot that I would like to do an orchard, the problem is that there are too many stones, I was looking for solutions and the only thing I found is a stone removing machine, but I think it's ...
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5answers
630 views

Is there a way I can make transparent soil for plants at home?

I want to observe root development of plants for a hobby home experiment. I need transparent soil for this purpose. I asked some local gardening stores for it, but they said that they don't sell such ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between compost and soil?

This question has been asked many times on the net and the information provided is unreliable and mostly wrong. What I am aiming to understand is what is lacking in compost that we can't just add it ...
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1answer
271 views

How is 'gardening soil' made?

Typical garden soil from the garden centre has a perfect black colour, with additions like peat, fertilizers, and so called 'soil improvers'. Can someone explain to me what the process is of making ...
3
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2answers
138 views

What should I be doing one month out to prepare garden beds for spring?

Woo-hoo! Starting to get excited... it will soon be spring again and looking ready to growing some good food. Our spring begins in September which is about 5 weeks away so I am interested in finding ...
4
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2answers
329 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 ...
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2answers
157 views

Meshed-hole Direct Composting design - please comment, suggest changes, advise

I've been putting some worms in my raised beds and feeding them the fresher kitchen scraps. I'm starting to run out of spots to place the food, so for the next bed I build I want to put in ...
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2answers
121 views

Mycorrhizae Innoculant. When/where/on what do I use this?

I saw a video of a guy using this symbiotic fungus powder on legume root balls that he placed in a green manuring bed. Is there a point to using this stuff in general? Right now I'm a few days away ...
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2answers
277 views

Top Dressing: When and How

I recently started composting, and I was reading about top-dressing. Two questions I have about top-dressing are: Is there a maximum to it? Most of my reading suggests up to once a year max. Do I ...
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3answers
111 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 ...
5
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1answer
163 views

Is it okay to have bonfires on my dormant garden bed?

Is it ok to have bonfires on my garden bed when I'm not growing anything? Should I do anything special with the aftermath or just rake it into the soil?
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1answer
133 views

Will vegetables grown where tobacco stems were chopped into the soil have any traces of nicotine?

My neighbor, while spreading a thick layer of tobacco stems across his pasture (I have no idea what for), got quite a few into my garden. I tried to remove it, but somehow a good amount has been ...
3
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1answer
276 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 ...
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1answer
217 views

Should I fertilize my tulips in the spring?

I planted some tulip bulbs outside last fall for the first time. We had a week of warm weather last week and they're coming up nicely. Is there anything I should do to ensure a nice bloom? More ...
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2answers
2k views

What are the steps to prepare an overgrown, grassy area for gardening?

We have an area that we attempt to use for gardening every year. It makes a nice garden area of about 10 feet wide by 20 feet deep. It will probably end up being the subject of several questions. ...
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1answer
225 views

How much additional fertilizer should I add to a vegetable garden?

I'm beginning to prepare the soil for my vegetable garden. Overall, it's clay-type soil, and I've added some of the leaves from last fall and the grass clippings from last year into the soil and ...
6
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1answer
933 views

Can I make my own seed raising mix?

From what I understand there is something in seed raising mix that increases the chance of germination and I guess the rest is stuff that helps feed a seedling. What is there in seed raising mix that ...
4
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1answer
245 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 ...
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1answer
270 views

Why is it bad to mix layers of soil if you do it once at the start?

In the answer @bstpierre gave to this question on ammending soil he mentioned mixing layers of soil during double digging is a bad idea. I was wondering why is this? I imagine mixing the layers at ...
8
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1answer
111 views

Where should I get my garden soil tested?

This spring, I plan on growing vegetables on land that is new to me. How do I find a lab to test my soil? Will some labs give me information that others might not? Also, how much can I expect to pay ...
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1answer
119 views

When is the earliest that I can safely add worms to my garden?

I live in northern Indiana and it is currently snowing. I want to add worms to my garden. Should I wait for it to warm up, start raining, or what?
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1answer
486 views

How much soil do I need on top of my hugelkultur beds?

I'm building a bunch of hugelkultur beds from the blowdowns, branches, trimmings, and sticks we have scattered around the property. This weekend I built a 20' long, 5' wide, 2-3' high pile of (mostly ...
6
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2answers
289 views

Is the “Paris Market” carrot a good variety for clay-rich soil?

I have tried growing carrots now and then, but they were always twisting around all of the rocks and squeezing through the clay, and I basically got a bad crop of strong flavored, tough carrots that ...
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2answers
827 views

When dealing with soil mixture and compost ratios, are you supposed to go by volume or weight?

I found what looks like a good raised vegetable garden soil mixture: 1/3 top soil, 1/3 compost manure, and 1/3 peat moss. Should I go by weight or volume?
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1answer
207 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?
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1answer
346 views

What type of tester works best for measuring soil pH?

I want to measure the pH of soil in my potted plants (especially for the dwarf citrus trees that I just bought). I've seen many different options: expensive laboratory-grade meters, cheap digital ...
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3answers
973 views

Why is there concrete buried across my entire backyard?

As I was planting a few fruit trees last weekend, I discovered an odd and very annoying phenomenon. About 6" down from ground level, I ran across a 2" layer of really crumbly concrete/gravel mixture. ...
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2answers
6k views

What techniques can be used to manually sieve stones from the soil efficiently?

After our house was built there is quite a bit of hardfill (river pebbles) mixed up with the topsoil around the section (approx 180sq.m.). We want to level the section, and loosen the top layer of ...
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1answer
1k views

How is nutritional value in fruit and vegetables measured?

We often read in books and Wikipedia that certain fruits or vegetables contain certain amount of vitamins, minerals and other elements. An example can be seen on Beetroot in the box with nutritional ...
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4answers
8k views

How do I improve drainage vertically through clayey soil?

I live on a hill where the soil has lots of clay. My back garden has been terraced with small (1m) retaining walls. The net result is that we have several lawns / gardens with the following ...
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1answer
2k views

Will leveling uneven lawns with extra sand kill future lawns?

I just removed my old front stoop: it was a wall of field stone, filled with a layer of pea stone and 2x8x8 cubic feet of sand, and finally covered by slate. I want to level my very uneven lawn with ...
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2answers
6k views

Is it really important to give blueberry plants acidic soil?

I have two blueberry bushes which I planted at the end of the summer. Although I had read online that they prefer acidic soil, I didn't have the time to check the pH of our soil, and go out to buy ...
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2answers
669 views

How can I clean up soil mixed with spruce needles?

I have some garden soil that has decaying spruce needles mixed through it. What should I do to the soil in order to grow vegetables in it normally?
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2answers
1k views

My garden soil is devoid of nutrients, how should I improve it this winter?

The garden area in my yard has soil that even the weeds don't particularly love to grow in during the summer. They will make a half hearted attempt in the winter, but it definitely isn't as lush as ...
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3answers
647 views

Is it safe to change the entire soil surrounding the roots?

Usually when you buy plants from the store, the soil type might not be suitable to them. Is it safe to change the soil completely? I mean to remove all the soil around most of the roots, then put it ...
11
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1answer
418 views

Do I need to correct the pH of my newly re-potted citrus tree?

I tried my hand at making my own soil for my citrus tree re potting. See below for the long story reasoning. I mixed EKO store bought (I live in an apartment) organic compost with coco coir and ...
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3answers
1k views

What do I use to fill in low spots in my yard?

I have low spots in my yard that I would like to slowly fill in. This isn't anything big enough to constitute a truck load of dirt or anything. What can I use (either dirt or manure) to fix these ...
11
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3answers
314 views

What should I do if the soil shrinks and separates from the flowerpot walls?

Recently we relocated a cactus into a new flowerpot. When it was planted the soil would evenly occupy the flowerpot and adjoin the flowerpot side walls. The soil isn't cactus soil, but just regular ...
11
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1answer
281 views

Are all kinds of earthworms good for the soil?

A few days ago, I found a tiny (1cm in length) earthworm inside my pot. In general, earthworms are beneficial in improving soil fertility. Are all kinds of earthworms good for the soil?
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3answers
363 views

Is it safe to handle soil with our bare hands?

Is it 100% safe to handle the soil by bare hands? Would any toxic insect hide inside the soils?
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2answers
171 views

What special steps should I take to prepare my garden for fall planting?

I am starting to think and plan out my fall/winter garden. I am looking at trying to plant some crops that will be overwintered and some crops that I can harvest before spring. What special steps ...
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2answers
3k views

Is it safe to eat fruits and vegetables planted in a pet cemetery?

Are there any safety concerns in eating fruit and veggies from plants that have been growing where dead pets have been buried? Not a full blown pet cemetery, but a small and intimate location in the ...
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2answers
792 views

Nothing will grow where tree was

Back in the spring we cut down a fruitless mulberry and hired someone to come grind the stump. When they were leaving they informed me that they poured a chemical into the hole where the remaining ...
8
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4answers
9k 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)?
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3answers
2k views

Do legumes provide nitrogen to their companions?

It's common knowledge that legumes (clover, beans, etc) can (with the help of Rhizobium bacteria) fix nitrogen from the air and hold it in the soil. Much is made of this fact -- advice that we should ...
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2answers
378 views

Good soil mix for bonsai?

What is a good generic bonsai soil mix? What ratio of organic / inorganic material should be included?
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3answers
643 views

Is charcoal good for use as a soil amendment?

I came across an article the other day on wikipedia about Terra preta. Has anyone used charcoal like this to enhance sandy soil, like we have in Florida? Does this really work, and what is the best ...
9
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3answers
335 views

How should I improve my extremely clayey soil?

I live in North Carolina and the soil here has an extremely high clay content. I have used soil conditioner that consists of composted pine fines to amend the soil. It does an excellent job of ...