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

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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
votes
2answers
148 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
votes
1answer
175 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?
7
votes
3answers
216 views

How to improve coral atoll “soils”

My Parents are currently living on a small pacific coral atoll. Coral atolls, for the most part don't have much soil. Mostly they just have coral sands. These "soils" are very well drained (and they ...
3
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Japanese Maple soil level increase [duplicate]

I would like to raise the soil level around my 8 month old Japanese maple. I need to raise it by about 4 inches. will this cause the tree any shock or worse, death?
1
vote
2answers
205 views

Soil of a potted plant is holding water. Should I loosen it?

Each time I water my potted plant, I notice that the surface of the soil is holding water. Should I loosen it up with a small spade? Once I have loosen up the soil, is there anything else I should do? ...
0
votes
1answer
544 views

What kind of soil do potted sensitivity plants need?

I bought a sensitivity plant (Mimosa Pudica) and noticed it was planted in an unusual looking soil. I want to transfer it to a larger container, so I would like to know how to buy or prepare a ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Raising soil level around tree

As a side mini project from a bigger patio project, we moved some concrete blocks to create a well around a tree in the front of the house. A conversation over in DIY.SE chat this morning sparked ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What kind of fertilizer should I give to an average mature shrub?

I've got a decently mature shrub in the backyard that is about 10 foot tall. It is starting to bloom with pinkish flowers. I'm wondering what kind of fertilizer should I give it for early spring. ...
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. ...
3
votes
3answers
57 views

How to grow Rosemary indoors over the winter?

I live in northern Colorado on the plains and the rosemary that thrives in the summer never makes it through the winter in a pot. It slowly dries up and dies even though I water it and keep it in a ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

What can I do this spring to help my new lawn?

I live in Maryland, and I expanded my back yard last fall by clearing some trees and leaves. I brought in top soil and tried to smooth out the contour also. After seeding, I had areas of success and ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

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 ...
5
votes
7answers
202 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
394 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
754 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
296 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
342 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
161 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
290 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
115 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
votes
1answer
171 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?
3
votes
1answer
139 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
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
6
votes
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. ...
5
votes
1answer
230 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
votes
1answer
973 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
280 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
1answer
296 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
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
120 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?
7
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
295 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
847 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?
7
votes
1answer
239 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?
11
votes
1answer
358 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
704 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?
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
781 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 ...