Top Questions About Soil Amendments

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Questions About Soil Amendments

Asked by
Anonymous on
July 23, 2011

Q. Hard Concrete Like Soil

I would like to plant more trees in my yard (back/front yard), but the soil is absolutely so hard I can’t dig the hole deep enough to plant a very small pot. What suggestions do you have for softening the soil to create a large enough hole, so that the roots can spread? I have asked for landscapers to help, but they have broken two shovels and the augor. They feel it will not help. What do I do?

Answered by
greenlex on
August 15, 2011
A.

Sounds like clay. I have it too. There is no easy solution. I find a pick maddox and alot of sweat are your best tools. You need to make the hole much larger than needed. I screen the clay to break it up, then incorporate lots of peat moss. The peat helps lighten the soil. Drainage can often be a problem as well. You could always build raised beds too. I found only a heavy pick maddox or pick axe is the only tool that will get you anywhere trying to dig in clay.

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Answered by
Susan75023 on
July 24, 2011
A.

Do your neighbors have this same type of soil? Sounds horrid. Our clay gets like rocks, when dry, but you can still dig a hole, especially with an auger. I would ask a neighbor about their soil - sounds like the person who built your house left some very nasty fill. ?? Is the soil in other areas of your property the same way?

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Asked by
hotpaul444 on
July 24, 2011

Q. Is Soot Good for My Allotment

Is soot good for my allotment?

Answered by
Heather on
July 25, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

It depends on the type of soot.

Wood ash is considered a good amendment for your compost, but should not be added to an actively growing garden directly, though you can add it to the soil in the fall and it will be fine for plants by spring.

Coal ash, like from coal or BBQ briquettes, should not be added to the garden or compost.

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Answered by
hotpaul444 on
July 26, 2011
A.

thanks heather

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Asked by
Novice on
September 9, 2011

Q. Ashes in Garden

Can I put ashes from plant burning (potato tops, daisy stems) in my garden?

Answered by
Heather on
September 10, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

I would put it into your compost pile first, just so some of the salts and plant unfriendly chemicals in ash have some time to get leeched away.

You can put it directly on the soil and you probably will not be adding enough so that it would harm your living plants, but it is better safe than sorry.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
September 14, 2011

Q. Things to Do for Garden During Fall

What can I do to garden now (fall) for next year such as amendments, types, etc. ?

Answered by
Nikki on
September 15, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

Right now would be an ideal time for cleaning up. This means weeding and pulling up or cutting many plants. Dividing overgrown plants can also be performed during fall. Planting spring bulbs is done now too. You may also want to take this time to protect the garden from winter temps, etc. by adding mulch. Fall can also be a time to prepare next season's garden by planning your designs. As for soil, amending the soil is normally done in spring but go ahead and throw some compost on it now and then mix it into the soil once spring arrives.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
September 19, 2011

Q. Old Mulch for My Veggie Garden

I’m clearing out a back corner in my yard – it’s been used as a dump site for yard waste for years before I owned the house. There’s a giant pine in that corner and weeds grow like crazy there. It’s 6 inches higher ground than the yard, and nice and soggy after a good rain. Now to my question. Can I use this in my garden to level the ground at the back half and not cause problems next year for my veggies?

Answered by
Nikki on
September 19, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

I don't see why not, but you may want to allow it to dry out some, turning (aerating) it with a garden fork or shovel.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
October 28, 2011

Q. Soil Preparation For Flower Bed

What soils and/or other products can I add to my soil that might sustain shrubs and/or flowers?

Answered by
Nikki on
October 29, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/the-importance-of-soil-for-an-organic-garden.htm

We also have an extensive selection of articles relating to various types of manures and compost found here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting-basics

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Asked by
mineral on
February 8, 2012

Q. Science project

We’re doing a science project. What will happen if I add these things to my soil? Will it harden or stay the same?

talc
aluminum
halite/sea salt
iron
sand/silt
carbon
ashes

Answered by
Heather on
February 12, 2012
Certified Expert
A.

All of those amendments will change the soil in some way. The questions is though, what kind of soil are you starting out with? For example, if you have clay soil and you add sand, it will harden the soil. But, if you have loamy soil and you add sand, it will loosen the soil.

It would be best to test each amendment with your local soil type to determine how it will affect your soil.

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