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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
3answers
92 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
971 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
2answers
2k 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?
5
votes
2answers
80 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
169 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
173 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
191 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
783 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
86 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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
77 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
889 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
342 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
175 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
183 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
452 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
577 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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? ...
7
votes
4answers
656 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
352 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?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the purpose of mixing native soil with store bought soil?

Question On most store-bought soil, it gives instructions to mix the soil with equal parts of your native soil. Why should I create a mixture instead of using the store-bought soil purely? Anecdote ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
461 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a recipe for a long-lasting, fast draining container soil mix with good aeration?

I'm interested in making my own container soil for some potted citrus and figs as well as something that'll work for other house plants. I've heard of Al's Gritty Mix. Does anyone have a mix that's ...
9
votes
1answer
439 views

My lawn is full of wild strawberries. What else can thrive in my soil?

My lawn seems to have more wild strawberries than grass (especially in the shady areas), which means it needs some work. But if it can support strawberries, there must be some great ...
1
vote
3answers
51 views

How do I determine soil moisture based on information from online weather systems?

I want to build an automatic garden/lawn watering system based on a small computer. The system is connected to the Internet and is able to learn the current weather conditions and the short-term ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

What can I use a bag of sterilised loam for?

At the back of my greenhouse I have a bag of pale brown crumbly earth labelled "Sterilised Loam". I'm not really sure what sterilised loam is. I never bought the stuff and I can't remember where it ...
3
votes
2answers
464 views

Does new lawn/sod need aeration?

I recently bought a house and am new to gardening and lawn care. Some guys stopped by and asked me if I need "aeration service." I was wondering if I need it for my new lawn/sod. I still don't see the ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I correct a nutrient excess in soil?

The soil sample I took last fall from my vegetable garden came back from the lab with this result: Optimum Range Calcium, Mehlich 3 (Ca) 2063 ...
10
votes
2answers
679 views

Why use potting mix instead of natural soil?

Being a layman who is thinking of starting to garden in the yard I have a question in mind. Why does one need to buy potting mix and why not use natural soil for gardening? I live in Melbourne ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Portable Soil and Compost Testing Kit

I am growing vegetables. I need soil and compost testing kits for Soil Ph, SOil EC and compost nutrients test. Can any one suggest me, which instruments will be good with reasonable price. Thank ...
3
votes
2answers
501 views

Does working leftover grass into your soil do anything?

I have a couple bags of grass shavings leftover from mowing the lawn and was wondering if I work the grass into the soil would that accomplish anything meaningful?
8
votes
2answers
414 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What should I do to rescue grass from a petrol spill?

We had some less than stellar workmen do some work a few weeks ago, and one of them spilled a substantial amount of petrol onto our front lawn. There is now an area about 100cm in diameter where the ...
2
votes
1answer
367 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?
4
votes
1answer
195 views

What exactly happens to potting soil if it is stored for a long period of time?

The story: I have bought a few sacks of "Plagron Royal Mix" here in Chile. This soil is supposed to be sufficient for my "tomatoes" for roughly six weeks. After four weeks in the soil I noticed ...
4
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to grow Trailing Rosemary as a ground cover in very heavy clay?

I want to cover a large area that is on a steep slope with ground cover. There is absolutely no soil at all, it's all pure clay: hard rock when dry and soft when wet. I was thinking of putting a ...
10
votes
2answers
533 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
370 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
161 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
48 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
475 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
11k 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
2k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
4k 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
63 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
85 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 ...