You can also mix a handful or 2 into the soil at the bottom of a planting hole when setting out transplants. I always add some water to help it break down more quickly.
A 25 pound bag of alfalfa pellets costs me approx. $4.50. Alfalfa is high in nitrogen and the pellets also contains molasses, calcium and other nutrients that plants really seem to appreciate. I've been using it for about a year and have seen marvelous results in my sandy, TOO-well-draining Florida soil. I've used it mainly on my veggies, herbs and flowering plants.
I love flowers and different plants but the soil at my home does not. I have part sandy soil, part hard clay soil. Some parts the water runs off other parts I water and it runs right thru, so that the plants seem dry all the time. The area seems to like pine trees and apricot trees and apple trees that will grow and give fruit but flowers like peonies, roses which I love do not. Does anyone have any ideas to improve the soil in my specific problem area?
Trina from Washington
Here is a good article on Improving Clay Soil:
Here's a good article on Improving Sandy Soil:
http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/fact_ ... ant_culture/improve_sandy_soils.html
It seems to me that mixing the two with some organic material might be a good way to improve them both.
Susan from ThriftyFun
My veg garden is in need of some nutrients and it must be the soil. Where can I have a sample of soil analyzed to determine what I need to add to soil to enrich it?
I live in Norwood, Massachusetts, Norfolk County
My local nursery has the kits, it comes in a little box preaddressed. You just gather sample and mail it in with a check for $10. Ask your nursery if they have something similar.
The soil in my garden seems lifeless. What causes your garden soil to loose nutrients? Vegetables grow, but not to their potential. It just seems lifeless. I am going to test the soil and hopefully be able to add what it is lacking. Thanks for feedback.
By Diane C
I haven't been the most diligent with getting my soil tested, other than the kits you buy at Lowe's because it takes too much time, but one thing I'd say to help is to plant different families of veggies in different places which I know isn't always easy. There are so many things that I grow that are in the cucurbit family; cucumbers, all squash (which is many), melons, and pumpkins. I try to not put them in the exact same spot. It depletes the soil of the nutrients that that particular vegetable required. To make your soil better this is what I do. If I don't have any home made compost (which is scarce) I buy a few bags of humus/manure ($1.47/bag@WalMart) and mix it with peat moss and add it to the soil when I plant, whether one plant or a row or section. Not only is it putting some raw materials back into the earth but it makes your soil more fluffy (I'm sure that's a technical word for experienced gardeners), easier for your veggies to take root, therefore take up the nutrients also. This year because of my past problems with squash bug and cucumber beetle (which destroy everything in the cucurbit family, 3/4 of what I grow) I purchased some beneficial nematodes. Wow! Don't know if it's the combination of it all but my squash plants are the most beautiful green, large leaves, producing machines than I've ever had in my 10-15 yrs of gardening. Hope that's helpful.
Several years ago we had renters in the house I live in now. They planted a rock garden. The soil is very, very sandy and some of the plants they planted are desert type plants and doing well. I would also like to plant different things, something with some color, however nothing seems to grow well. What can I do to correct the very sandy soil? Zone 5
By Kathy from Sylvania, OH
I'd consider making raised beds near the sandy soil because then you can officially start again and put whatever compost or the mowed leaves you want in it! I'm talking from zone 4, upstate NY.
The house I'm renting has a area for a garden. Should I change the dirt out, or will it be good?
Hardiness Zone: 9b
By Rosezena from Henderson, NV
Contact your local Extension Service, they have a kit that you can buy (inexpensive), They tell you how to take several scoops of your soil and give you the container to mail off. In a few weeks you will get the results and it will tell you how to amend your soil if it needs to be amended. jjs fla.