What is the best soil mixture for your garden?
What is the best you've found? A mixture of soil and some kind of fertilizer? Store-bought or homemade compost? Peat? What else? What about garden soil such as Miracle-Gro? Please share your magical mix!
Personally I just use my compost straight off for growing plants in. Annual flowers flourish when planted in it in the summer. However I add everything to the compost; grass clippings, soft growth cut from perennials which have finished flowering, weeds which haven't gone to seed, soft hedge clippings, leaves raked up in the fall, moss and other debris from gutters, kitchen waste, saw dust, emptied out potting compost from flower pots etc. I also add soil every so often to provide bacteria and worms to aid breakdown of the material and if I am digging any holes in the garden, changing layout of beds or edging flower beds, I dump the soil onto the heap. I don't have a compost bin as the volume is so great but this doesn't make any difference as I allow almost a year for everything to decay and start a second heap in the meantime.
Compost aerates the soil, which is essential as it allows roots to spread easily and also provides space for essential oxygen to reach the roots. It retains moisture, and adds bacteria and nutrients. Also it acts as food for worms which in turn aerate the soil. You could mix compost or peat half and half with soil to provide any essential nutrients missing from the compost.
Do you have the book "Organic Gardeners Composting" by Steve Solomon? It is not that old but he made it public domain and you can download it free at Gutenburg. The book has several recipes for making excellent soil. Since my ground here is mostly sand, I have to use a large volume of compost to build up my organic matter, (or humus if I have enough available) but it will be different in Arkansas (I think your soil would have more clay, but I am not sure). The best thing to do would be to take a soil sample in to your local extension office and find out where you are starting at, then you will know what nutrients you might need to add for optimal production. Steve Solomon gives an organic recipe for a Miracle-Gro type product that you can make, not buy (extremely frugal, right?).
Frugal is great, Dr. Mark! I like saving money AND the earth. Soil is Arkansas is pretty good. Some stuff in my yard grows like crazy without any kind of attention. I will definitely look into this book. AND, I'm going to try to compost even more!
The soil found in a typical yard will be about 90% mineral residue and only about 10% decayed organic matter. Yet it sustains a community of insets and microorganisms. The reason for adding additional organic matter (Compost) to your soil is to provide food for the beneficial microorganisms that release nutrients into the soil as they decompose the organic matter. Earthworms and other soil dwelling insects aerate the soil as they move through it and contribute still more organic matter with their waste and decomposition. This makes for what is called healthy soil. Compost also should be around 30% of your garden soil. Plus a bag of miracle grow soil mix per around 10 feet does wonders.
I make my own compost at home which consists of all my fruit and veg peels, grass cuttings, wood chips and the cuttings of my hedges.
Mix all this up, leave for a few months. Once it has all evolved into a form of fertilizer mix it with soil. I mix 50/50.
For me this is the best for growing and keeps weeds at bay because of the wood chips.
I have a GREAT answer, Vee!!! Go shake Tillie and wake her up! She's our resident Gardener Supremo!! I walk past plants and they wilt and die.....Till's got a Bright GREEN thumb!.
by Diana Grant 3 years ago
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by Liz Elias 17 months ago
I have zero idea how this happened! If I still lived in Pacifica, I'd understand it completely. There, we had such miserable, rocky soil that I could've gone into business selling ballast for ships!! I even had a carrot come up once that was 3-pronged, with a rock in the...
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