Questions tagged [soil]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
16
votes
1answer
10k 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?
3
votes
3answers
587 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
10k views

Does a pine needle mulch make your soil acidic?

This article from Colorado State University states that alkaline soils resist change but several years of heavy pine needle applications would create a somewhat more acid soil. This article ...
13
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
399 views

What is the proper soil type for Aloe?

I have a couple aloe plants that don't seem to be really growing much. I'm pretty sure it's because I never bothered to look up what soil they really need and have just been keeping them in potting ...
11
votes
1answer
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 ...
21
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
671 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Covering soil of Ponytail Palm

I recently acquired a ponytail palm, which is alive, though it wasn't taken care of well prior to my acquisition. One thing I noticed is that the pot was covered in rocks, that appear to be fused ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the best type of potting soil/mix for a Sansevieria (Snake Plant)?

I have a Sansevevieria (Snake Plant) and I'm looking for the best type of potting soil/mix for it. I checked some sites on google and couldn't understand a thing. Almost everyone has a different ...
14
votes
5answers
37k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
399 views

What plants take easily to clay soils?

I live in central Scotland, which is a bit damp, and the soil in my garden, despite years of aerating, adding sand etc is still quite a thick clay soil. When it is sunny I get sun all day long, so ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Which soil should be used with Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller, Stockton variety?

The question Is this soil appropriate to plant this succulent baby? is relevant to some unknown Aloe but this question is specifically related Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller, Stockton variety that has ...
23
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
5k 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 (...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I till topsoil into thick clay in small garden beds?

My house is in an area where the native earth is basically solid clay. This means that wet or dry, you can't dig with a shovel and get crumbling dirt — it always clumps together, unless you ...
16
votes
1answer
700 views

What type of tester works best for measuring soil pH? [duplicate]

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
694 views

What's wrong with planting a tree deeper than the root flare, or mulching higher?

People tell you that when you plant a tree, you should plant the root flare level with the soil line. And when mulching, that you shouldn't pile the mulch up over the root flare. What harm can be ...
10
votes
6answers
438 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
255 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
173 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

Best help for a tree with stunted growth?

I have a few trees on my property which are at least five years old (sorry I don't know the kinds yet). Compared to other trees in neighboring lots, planted at the same age at the same time, they are ...
17
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
406 views

What are the primary nutrients utilized by plants beyond NPK?

When talking about soil and fertilizers, what are the primary nutrients in addition to NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) that play a major role in plant development?
11
votes
2answers
215 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
8k 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?
8
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
246 views

How can I revive these house plants

This first house plant/tree I bought around 6 months ago here in London UK, I water it every few days or so, but haven't changed the soil or repotted it. Most of the leaves have since fallen, it does ...
6
votes
1answer
975 views

Euphorbia stems keep rotting in succession

I purchased an Euphorbia from IKEA last October. It was very robust in the beginning, but after being repotted multiple times it lost a lot of its vigour and some parts of died. I'm looking to ...
6
votes
2answers
187 views

Should I do a soil test before or after amending soil?

I want to plant blackberries, raspberries, and a vegetable garden in the heavy clay soil in my backyard. So, I plan to heavily amend it by spreading 3" expanded shale and 6" of compost and working ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Tomato plant discolored and dried out

I have a home garden with tomatoes and peppers. The peppers grow great every year, but often the tomatoes end up discolored with dried out leaves. I recently did a Manutec pH test on the soil and ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a way to kill the mold on soil surface in pots?

I’ve had mold growing on the surface of my pots for a long while. I kept removing the soil from the surface but that didn’t help. So I went and bought expensive fancy soil!! I took out the plants from ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

What is my apple orchard soil type?

It's about three month that I have bought this orchard. I have have done Bottle test on my orchard soil. But my test results did not look like what I have seen in internet. So I decided to post my ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

How to make a Snake Plant Potting mix in three category: Perfect, Good, and okay

I think title is clear. By graphic instructions, I mean pics of soil/sand/gravel and potting mix. If this question is weird and off-topic, I will delete it.