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

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10
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3answers
485 views

Are there any benefits from leaving dead leaves in the soil around a plant?

Do the dying/dead leaves that fall off young plants provide any nutrients or any benefit to the existing plant, if left in the soil around the plant?
3
votes
1answer
51 views

What kind of mushroom is this and should I get rid of it?

We got a lot of rain in Austin over the last few days and now there are mushrooms popping up all over my vegetable garden. The garden bed is raised and only about two weeks old. I'm worried the ...
4
votes
1answer
27 views

Leaves on my Cherry Blossom Tree are Wilting

While I was in Japan a few weeks ago I picked up a small cherry blossom sapling to bring home (I believe it's a Yoshino cherry blossom). My girlfriend's grandfather who we were staying with on his ...
9
votes
3answers
139 views

How often should I loosen soil?

I was about this ask this question in a comment from a different question of mine, but I thought it deserved its own question since it may help a fellow novice gardener. How often should I loosen the ...
8
votes
3answers
744 views

How to keep soil a rich black colour

We've just put all new soil in our flower bed and due to it being slightly moist it was a lovely deep rich black colour. Is it possible to keep it that black colour even when dry?
6
votes
1answer
23 views

How much soil is needed for turf to survive?

Our garden currently has a small gravel border all the way around. When removed it leaves a few inches before it reaches the foundations for the wall. If we were to turf the lawn, after filling the ...
4
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
34 views

For how much area should I amend the soil for a given plant?

My question is not about depth, but area. For a given individual plant, do I amend the soil for an area the size of its seed spacing recommendation (12 in., etc.)? Or is less required? I am a ...
10
votes
6answers
297 views

What are the best tools for testing soil?

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. How would you recommend that I test my ...
8
votes
1answer
37 views

What's the best way to remove grass/topsoil to prepare for grading?

I want to remove about 250 square feet of grass/topsoil and then lightly grade for drainage below a future deck. Should I: Man up with a spade & a rake? Rent a sod cutter & go deep? Use ...
6
votes
3answers
44 views

Filling low spot in yard

I have a low spot in my yard that I want to fill in. It is an 8' diameter spot that is about 4"- 6" lower than the surrounding grass. The grass in this spot it mostly dead from this being a small ...
5
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the name of the French pioneer of organic/sustainable farming?

I can't remember his name. I think he was active in the 50's to 70's. His techniques involved creating berms of fallen branches and twigs, and later incorporating the decayed matter into his soils. ...
6
votes
1answer
45 views

Do I need to mix rice husk and clay soil?

Someone gave me 1 sack of rice husk and multiple sacks of clay soil. I've been thinking if just planting in a pure clay soil is enough or do I really need to mix it to rice husk? If I need to mix ...
12
votes
5answers
9k views

Can I grow a fruit bearing pistachio tree?

I live in Zone 7 in Northwest texas. It's pretty dry here and the soil is mostly hard clay. I'm very interested in growing fruit bearing pistachio trees, but haven't been able to find any local ...
6
votes
4answers
84 views

Can I use 3 year-old bagged topsoil for a new garden?

I have 10 loosely tied bags of topsoil from a nursery that have been sitting outdoors for 2-3 years. I read an answer to a similar question, but I have some follow up questions. The soil smells ...
30
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I work with soil that has a high clay content?

The clay content in my garden soil is rather high. Tilling it is a royal pain, especially if there is even the slightest hint of moisture in the soil. It just turns into big sticky clumps instead of ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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?
9
votes
3answers
77 views

What type of dirt to use for filling the backyard before preparing the vegetable beds?

The backyard of my house has a small slope and because of that little puddles of rain water are accumulating. Because of this, the mulch in the nearby vegetable beds are wet all the time. I want to ...
14
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Should I use soil-less technology for growing my veggies?

I recently started growing some veggies in my farm, when I saw the soil-less growing techniques. If I am doing it purely for hobby and just working on the farm myself and not looking to spend 1000's ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

For a new lawn, are mixed soils worth it?

I'm redoing my lawn because it was extremely unlevel. I've already flattened the whole thing, scraped out all the old grass, and now I'm ready for top soil. After calling a few local places, I've ...
5
votes
3answers
55 views

I have a lot of green, How can I use it as fertilizer?

In my country I don't have fertilizer products, I know that I can get Nitrogen from any green. I already knew that I can soak them in water to make liquid fertilizer, but what if I want to make slow ...
10
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
54 views

Is this soil appropriate to plant this succulent baby?

I was browsing among the succulents section of this department store, and I found this offspring plant fallen apart on the floor! I took it to plant it since it was going to die there. The plants in ...
9
votes
2answers
60 views

What's a nitrogen-fixing ground-cover that grows on very little rainfall?

Here in the desert southwest (Northern New Mexico, zone 7B, heavy clay soil, 7 inches of annual rainfall), clover doesn't seem to grow well due to lack of enough moisture. What's an alternative that ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Soil for terrace garden

How can I ascertain quality of soil I buy from local nurseries? I live in Kolkata, India.
4
votes
1answer
49 views

How can i find what my soil pH is and how does it affect the plants?

I am pretty new to gardening(~6 months); I have a small terrace space with lots of potted plants (lemon, hibiscus, some herbs etc.). I get soil(along with vermicompost) from various nursery suppliers ...
13
votes
1answer
464 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

How can I use rockwool for indoor gardening?

So, I decided to do research on using rock-wool for my indoor panting needs, rather than the potting soil I obtain from the local stores here. Reasons are 1. I have some rock-wool leftover after ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Is my calculation of 1x Cubic meter of Top Soil correct?

I have a 366cm * 366cm round above-ground plastic pool - but the yard runs at a downhill slope. I want to lay down soil (the grass must grow back when we remove the soil) so as to level the 366cm * ...
6
votes
2answers
155 views

What soil mixture should I use for my Schefflera?

I'm on here again, asking more questions about my office's Schefflera that I'm in charge of. You can find pictures and a previous question here: Whats the next step to improving my schefflera? I ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

What potting mixes do you use?

I am new to gardening and I would like to know what ingredients and measurements do you use in your potting mix for three different types of plants: Plants that require plenty of water. Plants ...
11
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Soil Depth for Bougainvillea

I am an architect working on a project in Malibu, California. This is new construction of a single-family residence. The house features a green roof and the client is convinced that it must be planted ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

How do I prepare rocky soil for planting an avocado tree?

I would like to plant some avocado trees in my garden. The soil seems very stony (<3cm in diameter stones on average, but a couple of bigger ones) and they go down at least 30 cm. Do I need to do ...
6
votes
3answers
123 views

Are there plants that add acid to soil naturally?

I'm curious if there are any plants that might add acid to their soil so that they might work well in a permaculture setting, you might be able to plant X, Y or Z near a blueberry bush to eliminate ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

What Should I Do With My Soil?

Location: Palm Beach, FL - zone 10A My garden was infested with weevils and some other kind of fungi. I sprayed it with Monterey Garden Insect spray a week ago. This week, I noticed that my plants ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

How does one build a bluestone paver patio with grass between the stones?

The plan is to use 2'x2' bluestone pavers with up to 3" of space between the stones. This would be placed on a base of 6" of bluestone dust (as this has been more effective than natural ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Deep watering: How much water are we talking?

How long and often must a lawn be watered to promote deep root growth throughout the warmer months? I live in South East Queensland and the summer temperatures range between 25-35 degrees Celsius. The ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

How can I convert a mulched bed to dirt, and should I?

We have several flower beds that are mulched. The problem with mulch is that if you buy it every year, it's quite expensive ($300-$500/year for us). And if you don't buy it every year, you get a lot ...
5
votes
2answers
336 views

Aerating with a garden fork: is it making the problem worse?

I would like to aerate my lawn but do not poses a lawn aerator. Would spiking the lawn with a garden fork be sufficient in aerating the soil or is it simply going to further compact the soil around ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Does soil need to be acidic for carnivorous plaints (droserae)

I'm still trying to grow carnivorous plants, and with reasonable success. Recommended: Peat / sphagnum moss Now generally, these plants grow in "wet, boggy, acidic soils" as every source will tell ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Why aren't my roses and fruit trees blooming as much as they did last year?

I just don't get it - I have a number of roses and it is June in the UK now. Granted, it has not rained much nor been overly sunny but I can't get my head around the fact that hardly anything in my ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Do different varieties of a given crop require different types of soil?

For example, corn has a lot of varieties, namely varieties A-Z. Is it possible that corn variety A requires a different soil type to grow in than corn variety B? Or is it that this sort of thing is ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Stems are kept in moist environment but soil insects keep growing in there

So, I am trying to grow some plants such as rose, and jasmine from stem but I keep running into the insects-in-the-soil problem. As you see in the picture, the plants grow some and then eventually ...
7
votes
2answers
73 views

How can you analyze if a land has good soil?

I have a feeling that my question is not a good question, but don't know how else to formulate it. I'm an engineer by profession, but I did spend a full season working in an organic farm. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

How deep should the soil be above a new retaining wall to allow shrubs to grow?

We have recently needed to build a retaining wall to prevent the garden sloping off into our neighbor's garden at the rear. We had to back-fill the gap created in building the wall with rubble and ...