Questions tagged [soil-amendment]

About modifying a soil's content.

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2 parts - Part 1 Does pure Diatomite crumble too much to use as a soil amendment?

or can it be washed cleaned & sifted it and used? I do this with shale rock and it works. Is Diatomite to crumbly? I can get diatomite rock, but I do not want to buy it if it's unusable. This is ...
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What should general PH and nutrient levels be for new planting bed after amendments?

I am planting a salad garden with lettuces, kale, spinach, root crops, pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. So many different PH level requirements and such for different plants are confusing ...
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Which plants relate simbiotically to chillis?

I have been reading about symbiotic plants and mutualism and I am wondering which plant to introduce to the pot of my perennial chilli plant. Any hints? thanks!
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47 views

Adding 10 cm of cow manure to my orchard in summer without hurting trees

I have bought an orchard recently which has 42 apples 26 walnuts and 27 and some other trees. I know that no fertilizer has been added to soil for at least 2 years. I have read that adding 10cm of ...
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What element is needed to turn Hydrangea flowers blue?

What element is needed to turn Hydrangeas blue? Is it sulfur or aluminum?
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What type of soil do I have

I was digging to see what kind of soil I have and I found this gray rust brown layer. It's like clay when compressed but kind of crumbles in chunks. It's around 6" from the top. I'm curious how this ...
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755 views

Excess Zinc in garden soil

I had the soil in one of my garden beds tested for a wide spectrum of minerals. This bed was originally filled with bought topsoil and mushroom compost, then it was cultivated with parsnips and ...
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31 views

Is there such a thing as ant castings?

I was reading that ants will kill worms off, so this got me wondering is there such a thing as ant castings since I've found that a type of stinging ants love to move into wood chip piles.
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What happens when you grow your plants in essentially worm castings?

I've heard of people adding worm castings to their garden soil, but what happens if you're on the worm casting extreme, and plant directly into worm castings?
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95 views

What is the difference between replacing soil and amending soil?

I came across this article and I find that it goes against everything that's said about soil amendment before planting. I've copied bits of it down below. You are planting a new tree, and you want ...
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39 views

Organic matter in organic fertilizer

Is organic matter (OM) in organic fertilizer important? Is higher OM better than lower OM? For example: NPK 3:2:2 OM 71% better than NPK 3:2:2 OM 60%?
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Crop rotation: by season instead of by year?

I have 3 raised beds in a small 30 m2 greenhouse, this is the first year I have it so I don't have much experience. I've been reading about crop rotation, and was wondering why you can't or shouldn't ...
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663 views

Can I improve clay-like soil with little stones?

I have these stones (formerly from a garden center and on top of weed-suppressing fabric in a flower bed for 10 years) and I'm wondering if I can just fork them into this soil. The soil currently ...
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how to fix soil with too little sand and clay?

I made a stupid mistake that has ruined my garden which I didn't realize until now. When moving in to my current house years ago, I tried to "improve" my garden soil by removing lots of soil and ...
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30 views

Replant to replace soil

I bought a little Zinfin Doll hydrangea and cleared a patch of some Annabelles that had used the soil for at least five years. (Their flowers unfortunately always grew too heavy for the stalks!) I ...
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213 views

How to amend clay soil to propagate trees for bare root distribution?

I intend to propagate trees and distribute them in bare root form after they grow for 1-3 years. Lots of good info on that process is available at https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Chapters/Bare%...
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76 views

What should I add to the soil to make my hydrangeas blue?

I am about to plant some new hydrangeas. What should I use to amend the soil with to make the hydrangeas blue?
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Can urine return moisture-holding capacity to the soil?

I've been urinating on dead lawns for a while. I consider myself an expert. In my home town we've been having a drought for some time; yet I had great success there, turning dried out, dying areas of ...
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Can blueberry bushes survive in clay soil long term with the right help?

Last year I planted three 1-year-old blueberry bushes in my back yard in clay soil and I've added several inches of mulch and soil amendments, but have a feeling that they won't do well in clay soil ...
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441 views

Is it good to add probiotics to your fermented plant juice?

I'm just wondering if adding some sort of bacteria like the ones you get in your probiotics supplements, can be good for your fermented plant juice?
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969 views

What are the cons of using aluminum sulfate and elemental sulfur as soil acidifiers?

I have a slightly high pH, 7.2. Nothing bad but I would like to bring it down a little. I was looking at two elements/products whatever you want to call them. One was Aluminum Sulfate and the other ...
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232 views

Does Kinnikinnick require soil amendment for planting

I intend to plant some ground cover on a small steep bank. The bank faces east and receives some shade from nearby trees and also some full sun. The total area is 180 sqft. There are 3 shrubs and a ...
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117 views

Will oyster mushrooms eat cooking oil?

I know oysters will eat engine oil, but cooking oil is a different type of chemical so is there any use in adding it to the substrate for growing mycelium?
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How do I properly amend soil in pots I used last year to grow tomatoes/peppers in Ohio?

I have half a dozen large pots (24"+) on my balcony which I've used for a couple of years to grow tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Last year I rotated several pots from tomato to peppers and vice versa, ...
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Egg shells and peanut casings in pot soil

I was reading up a few weeks ago on fertilizing and someone, somewhere said that grinding down egg shells would be a good idea to increase calcium in the soil. Now this made me save some egg shells ...
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326 views

Can biochar be created effectively in a cast iron bath?

I'm interested in making some biochar for my garden. I don't really want to pay an metal engineer to make an expensive Kon-Tiki Kiln, or even a much easier Pyramidal Kiln, and I don't have the energy ...
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What is Horticultural Grit?

I live the U.S. but I read UK gardening books. Can someone please explain what is "Horticultural Grit". What is it make of, what is the size of the particles? Is there some standard reference that ...
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183 views

How to transform an area of pasture to a vegetable garden?

What is the best way to transform a 300 m2 area of pasture land to a vegetable garden? I do not mean lawn, but real grassland previously cut down regularly by farmers to feed animals. https://www....
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Is it possible to modify soil pH with plants?

I have a very chalky soil and I'd like to decrease its pH. Are there plants that can effectively help correct the soil pH permanently?
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123 views

What is mushroom compost, exactly?

I just bought 25L of a product labelled: Organic Mushroom Compost. I know what I'm going to use it for, but am curious about the name. Today alone, I've read (and been given/told) at least 3 ...
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Watering plants with soaked forest soil

I am thinking of mixing forest soil with water and water plants with that. I was hoping that nutrients from soil would get released into the water, so in effect, fertilize the soil. I am not aware ...
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679 views

Medium you can add to soil to improve airiness and create loose soil

I am making a list of mediums that I can use to make soil more loose and improve airiness. Soil will be used primarily in pots. I am interested in both home made mediums and commercially available, ...
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2k views

how to increase Phosphorous, Potassium and Calcium in lawn soil

I recently used my local extension service to do a soil test. I did this before I fertilized for the spring so I got a post-winter reading on the soil. They said my lawn was very low in Phosphorous, ...
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298 views

Reviving some soil using fertilizer, how long to wait before planting?

I had a planter full of a nice soil mixture but let it go dormant and dry out for a year or two. Recently I have kept it around some other plants, exposed it to more light, and applied fertilizer (...
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817 views

What are the long term effects of adding iron oxide pigments to soil?

Iron oxide (Pigment Black 11) is a intense black non toxic and very cheap pigment. I think I have read somewhere that soil from shops is sometimes pigmented with iron oxide because it sells better. ...
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4k views

Is dry sphagnum moss dead?

When you buy dried/dehydrated, compacted bricks of sphagnum moss from gardening suppliers and stores, etc., is it supposed to be alive, and/or able to grow, upon rehydration? Or is it dead? I bought ...
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257 views

What is the benefit of using peat?

What is the point of adding peat (peat-moss/sphagnum-peat/sedge-peat/etc.) to soils and substrates? What benefit does it provide? I like the texture of it, and being that it's composed of partially ...
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8k views

How can I soften clay soil and enrich it for plants?

A few years ago, we used a clay type soil for filling holes in our garden. Later the soil became very hard and most of our plants and trees are not healthy. Only unwanted plants are growing. Is ...
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25k views

Why it is bad to add sand to soil?

Motivation: this comment from stormy: And DO NOT ADD SAND to garden soil!!! ARRRGGHH. Again, when one takes clay soil, gravel, lime, gypsum, water and then ROTATE what does one get? Concrete. Sand ...
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546 views

Is wood ash from black locust harmful to plants?

Black walnut has juglone in it, which can be harmful to other plants. I've read claims that you shouldn't use black walnut for wood ash in your garden because of this, although I'm not sure if that's ...
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891 views

What relevance does fungal dominance have to a vegetable garden?

I'm mainly attempting to grow vegetables for my family so basically Brassicaceae, Umbelliferae, Asparagaceae, and Solanaceae. I'm certainly not attempting to establish an old forest or even a food ...
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Should I add soil with living things, like worms, to a potting mix?

I normally just buy in seedlings from big box stores since I am too disorganised to start my own seedlings in time. However, this year I did manage to get some seeds into the seed raising mix, and ...
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1k views

Is it helpful to add coffee grounds to a droopy mother-in-law's tongue?

I have a mother-in-law's tongue, Sansevieria trifasciata, that's getting a bit yellow and slightly droopy. A friend recommended that I add some coffee grounds to the soil, which I've been doing, but I'...
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Will applying twenty year old cow manure hurt my vegetable garden?

I'm cleaning out my barn. It's old cow manure that's been in there for 20 years. I put a bunch of it on the garden, which has clay soil. I'm growing tomatoes, peppers and onions. Will this hurt my ...
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446 views

Laying new topsoil, what if anything to mix in for worms or to kickstart healthy ecosystem?

For reasons that would take too long to go into (tl;dr version - a combination of mass gradual soil movement needing soil engineering, bad development, old paving/topslabs, + ground levelling to ...
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43 views

Is there a soil sieving and packing procedure to ensure equal moisture distribution?

I would like to know if there's a way to ensure every sample has the same initial conditions when performing soil experiments. The samples are going to be enclosed in containers of 13 cm height and 18 ...
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512 views

In store-bought fertilizer for camellias, what's the difference between NPK 10-10-10 and say 4-4-4?

I'm looking to buy fertilizer for my camellias. I read on a couple of websites to use 8-8-8 or 10-10-10, but when I search online many brands sell fertilizers for camellias that have different ...
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939 views

What is the correct ratios for Epsom Salt and Gypsum solutions?

I want to use solutions of Gypsum and Epsom Salts to augment the nutrients in my pot plants. They seem to be having some mineral deficiencies. I'm wondering what is the correct amount of Calcium ...
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219 views

Returning a garden paved for 30 years with packed clay below, back to lawn

My new rear garden has had concrete slab paving for decades, resting on heavily packed and deep London Clay soil and a small amount of odd rubble. The paved area measures about 6x7m. The soil under ...
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447 views

How can I treat nutrient burnt basil seedlings?

I grow basil plants from seed. They're approximately 1 month old. I gave them a little pigeon manure, and I think I burnt them. How can I normalize the soil and plant? Thanks.