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7

How impressive! I think you can relax - this is not a sign of a massive insect infestation and not a fungus, but one of nature’s wonders known as slime mold. The “eggs” are the spore-carrying fruiting bodies. They come in lots of different shapes and colors, some with a striking resemblance to insect eggs. This one looks a bit like yours, for example. If ...


5

Zinc is tricky, soil can contain a higher ppm than what you might want (10 ppm or so) without it being a problem because a good portion of the zinc is being held within the iron and oxides which is actually not available to the plants. Soil pH will contribute to dictating zincs accessibility/solubility where a higher pH equates to a lower solubility. For ...


4

The front bed looks unusual; high pH, high metals Zn, Cu and Fe. Looks like some contribution from domestic scrap metals. High pH and phosphorus could be TSP used to clean something. Maybe grow something like annual rye grass for a season to let it rest or mellow. I use TSP as a fertilizer for P but I have a very acidic soil so the alkalinity is no problem ...


4

If you are paranoid about this sort of thing, there is probably no answer that will make you happy. If you are just normally concerned, stick to containers from reputable suppliers that were designed for growing things in. Plastic plant pots are lighter and cheaper to buy than clay, they don't break when you drop them, and they are easy to clean since they ...


4

Adding a small amount of grit won't do any harm, but it won't do any good either. If you are serious about improving the quality of clay soil using grit, you need something like 500 pounds of grit per square yard (250kg per square meter) to have any real effect on the depth of soil that will be cultivated. To make a real difference, you need to get the ...


4

"Toxicity" is about plant. Some will not growth well. It is not about human toxicity (which depends on plants). Mushroom could have more zinc, in general compost could have more metals (and if you used also ash you get more). Compost concentrate stuffs (but water and carbon). Because metals are used on very few quantities, it could add. Topsoil could be ...


4

20cm of gravel is an unusually high amount - the layer is more often less than half that. Presumably the double membrane beneath is perhaps because it's the thinnest membrane so they doubled up. If you want to start planting other stuff in there, you might as well accept that the only way you're going to do that successfully is to remove the gravel, take ...


4

I don't know how many Vigoro triple mixes exist, if more than one, but the Vigoro triple mix that I've read about online since seeing your question is advertised as being usable for vegetables. So, the company at least seems to think we should think it's safe. However, it's supposed to be used more as a soil amendment or mulch than anything, as I understand ...


3

I thought you were probably in the UK... First, let's just establish that we've had a fair bit of rain in the last few days with these storm conditions, so that might account for puddles for an hour or two, but no, it's not usual for puddling to remain for any longer than that because the soil 'hasn't settled', in fact, quite the opposite. You say the ...


3

Spread the soil on a sheet and let it completely dry and soak some sunlight for a day or two. Mix a small quantity of compost / manure and two spoonful of wood ash. Try to grow any microgreens in it using seeds. If soil is healthy, seeds will germinate and you will get small plants in a week. It will be more beneficial if the microgreen you have selected is ...


3

Sand arrives at playgrounds already full of dirt - ours always had clay in it, which is terrible for drainage - only thing it would have grown was dirty clothes. .... If you want to grow in sandy medium, go to the hardware or home store and get a little bag of cactus soil. It does really drain! If it has to be sterile, spread in a pan and bake in the ...


3

How much root ball has to be planted in the soil? Answer, all of it. You should replant trees to the same depth they were growing before they were moved. Deeper or shallower can both cause problems. Rather than trying to somehow balance your tree on the top of the ground (and hope the first strong wind doesn't blow it down) choose species that like being ...


3

Since anyone can set up their own triple mix business without regulation and there are no controls over what can actually be in it there is no such thing as a strict database of scientific information for this product; MSDS depends on the fact that the products listed are very narrowly defined and consistent. There have been some efforts to define what ...


3

The water in the bottle test is almost transparent, so the proportion of clay cannot be significant otherwise the water would remain murky for a long time - unless you have had the bottle standing for a couple of weeks or put in in a centrifuge... It is true that significant sand component would not lead to cracks in dry soil, so this indicates a ...


3

Trees have roots in the ground that breathe. They don't like grade changes like you are proposing as it reduces oxygen exchange. It is not safe to add 10 cm of manure at once It is safe to add it in 1 or 2 cm portions manure should be composted. The high nitrogen levels of chicken manure, for example, can burn roots


3

Worms in the garden are excellent. Worms in a plant pot mean big trouble for the plant, because there isn't much for the worms to eat except the plant's roots. This is one reason why potted plants should never be grown in soil just dug up from a garden - you have no idea what is actually in there. The worms may have been worm eggs, when you filled up that ...


2

Any soil can get so dry (so desiccated) that the normally hydrophilic particles turn to one another for their hydroxyl ions. It isn't wrong to call them hydrophobic while in that state, although it's an electrostatic condition rather than a soil-type, and can equally apply to clay or organic molecules in the soil. Where both are present it may involve both. ...


2

Just a small thought to add, most sands on tropical atolls are derived from coral, as such the last thing the sand needs for plant to grow in it is more alkaline material. I find a mix of sand with compost 50x50 and used in containers will grow tomatoes,eggplant, and peppers with the help of some magnesium sulphate and seaweed tea. .


2

A "closed" environment like this is not exactly the same as an open garden, because you don't have the full natural ecosystem to recycle what accumulates in the soil - for example no earthworms or other below-ground-living critters, probably only limited mycelium from (mostly invisible) soil-living fungi, a limited population of bacteria compared with open ...


2

I strongly recommend aerating before planting. The looser and less compact your soil is the better chance the seeds you sow will have to germinate. I would also recommend dethatching if there is any evidence of thatch in your lawn. Again, this will I have a complete section on aerating and dethatching on my website, Aerating and Dethatching.


2

I am from the Seattle area as well. I've done most of my career in the PNW as a Landscape Architect. Part of my career involved landscape maintenance just to have a job. Ran 7 crews and I was there hands on for 4 years as foreman/supervisor. Moles and gophers and sometimes voles become part of the landscape's soil. They are a GOOD thing. They do not ...


2

Bad idea. Stones or gravels are serveral orders larger than soil particles, so it would not change, particularly here, improve your soil physical structure meaningfully. OTOH, addition of stones (those as shown in your pic) would definitely increase the difficulty of tilling the soil. Your soil, from the picture of it, looks quite "loamy" to me, i.e. the ...


2

Something like this maybe https://www.seedman.com/plantge.htm It's "plant gel" I've bought some plants that came in it.


2

Great Kit, well I imagine that by this point you have a pretty darn good idea of what needs to happen. However, to answer your question the "ideal" slope varies heavily on the location hence why I asked so many questions. Considering your drainage problems and the soil type I would say your estimate of 5% for the first 140-150 cm off the pathway will work. ...


2

Yes, throw it all out and use fresh compost. You can throw it on your garden or compost heap, not in the waste bin, of course. The ecosystem you have in a small pot isn't diverse enough to decompose the old roots, and in any case that would take months or years to complete. For example having earthworms (and smaller soil-dwelling animals) living in a pot ...


1

One possibility given the high iron content as well is that lots of galvanised metal has ended up there. This could be a patch that's been used as a dumping ground in the past (high copper as well), perhaps only for short periods such as during renovation work indoors, and perhaps quite a long time ago. High iron and zinc could also have been someone ...


1

That glass jar doesn't have any drainage holes in it. Put it in a proper plant pot, and don't over-water it. The depth of soil in the jar is very small for the size of the plant as well. Probably the other leaves would "flop" if the jar wasn't supporting them. This looks like a small specimen of a big species of Aloe - some species grow to the size of ...


1

Our builders broke up the concrete from the old house and spread it around so it is in various areas of the garden. I've found that the crumbled concrete seems to suck a lot of moisture away from the plants roots. The fruit trees do okay, probably because their roots go deeper, but it badly effects vegetables like tomatoes and strawberries. I can't grow ...


1

In general, no you shouldn't need to completely remove the soil, plants are very good at finding space to grow. If the ground is absolutely riddled with old roots then when you plant you might think to dig your hole a bit deeper and wider than is called for. That way you can back-fill some fresh soil in for the new plants to grow into first, I do this ...


1

Remove the fabric. There is a very interesting web site from Washington State University in the US called "Horticultural Myths, curated by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott. Here's her take on landscape fabric: https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/landscape-fabric.pdf In the US, landscapers almost always recommend fabric when doing new installations - ...


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