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

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9
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2answers
457 views

Good soil mix for bonsai?

What is a good generic bonsai soil mix? What ratio of organic / inorganic material should be included?
5
votes
2answers
270 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
39 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
321 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? ...
15
votes
2answers
9k 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
5answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

What actually occurs for manure to become considered “well-rotted”?

I know that you shouldn't use raw manure on plants because it's bad for them, but I don't understand why. I know you should stack manure before using it (i.e. literally stack it into a big cone), and ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
72 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
73 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
259 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
568 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it a problem to use manure as a fertilizing amendment over the long term?

I had my soil tested last fall. As part of the submission I checked the box that said I use manure as a soil amendment / fertilizer. In the results from the lab, they included a note that said that ...
7
votes
2answers
8k 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
395 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
145 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
187 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
158 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
601 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
votes
1answer
267 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
238 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
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
123 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?
9
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
946 views

What are the ideal soil conditions for planting giant sequoia saplings?

I've already germinated giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) seeds for 6 weeks. What's the ideal soil conditions for planting the saplings?
7
votes
2answers
320 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 ...
11
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. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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?
11
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
430 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
464 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?
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
875 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?
9
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
530 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Will dumping paint destroy a nearby tree?

One of my neighbors complained that another neighbor killed a tree in front of her home by dumping paint in the soil. (Never mind that his trees are fine and there seems no way the paint could be ...
17
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
500 views

Can I fix a garden tilled too early?

I've never been totally successful in waiting till the exact opportune moment to till my garden and I don't suppose that I ever will be. I usually till my garden once or twice and when I'm ready to ...
11
votes
1answer
295 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?
8
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
234 views

Is triple digging worth the backache in temperate biomes?

I read in Tips for the Lazy Gardener that gardens in drier parts of Africa can be triple dug (as opposed to double dug, or as I prefer, barely dug) which will somehow absorb more water during the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Can we take out the whole root of Aloe Vera and replant it during transplant?

I bought a Aloe Vera in a shop a year ago and I just use the pot that came with it, so obviously I don't know what is in the soil and their components. Yesterday I felt that I should transplant the ...