General Question

Anatelostaxus's avatar

How do I make the soil I have available suit specific plants?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1428points) October 29th, 2011

Any processes for drying, enriching, etc?

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4 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You start, as with all gardening, by doing your research. That means buying a book and reading or going on line and checking it out.

If you want to plant delphiniums, for example, you need a neutral to alkaline soil. You can get a little kit to test the ph of your soil at any gardening center. If needs be, you then buy a little lime to amend the soil before planting.

Conversely, bleeding-hearts like acid. You can amend with chopped up oak leaves or pine needles.

All soil should be prepped before planting anything.

The general rule is to turn or till, remove rocks and sod, and amend with peat moss, manure or compost and general fertilizer. You want the soil friable; that means that water will drain easily and not pool in clay deposits or sticky mud. You can add perlite (dried volcanic ash), bone meal, fireplace ashes, egg shells, coffee grounds, among a long list.

Now’s the time to buy some good gardening books; there is nothing nicer to read on a cold night. Where do you live?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

See if Sunset Magazine has an online site you can search through. My mother has been a lifelong subscriber and they always have suggestions for working with the type of soil you have to make it closer to the soil you want for whatever plants. Mother swears by Sunset over any tips she’s been given by garden center folks.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled pretty much hit the nail on the head and there’s really no getting around the truth, the facts of her answer. You either have to plant things that will grow under the conditions you have in terms of climate, soil, moisture, light, drainage, etc. or alter the conditions that you can alter, like soil, drainage, etc. to suit the plant so… you will have to decide what you want to grow and then research the conditions that each of those particular plants prefer and prepare your soil and beds accordingly.

Garebo's avatar

I know if you learn how to make superb compost, meaning a calcium rich decayed plant material (with kudzu or alfalfa) in a a good medium of good clay, some rock dust or minerals and tend to it, turn it, and make a black gold of it. You can grow astoundingly healthy plants with it.

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