But in the “real world” I add it in my raised beds. If you can do home remedies to check for different problems with your soil, go for it. Here is a very simple test. 0 0. myrtguy. Topsoil is great for growing things but not for building on, builders want subsoil for their foundation, and they want the extra money from selling the topsoil. Mark this layer again. The concept of submitting a sample of something as complex as soil to a lab and asking "what's in it" sounds great but it is not practical. If all else fails wouldnt you want to know whats in your soil? I am assuming you will not kill these two plants from transplant shock or hot sun or over or under watering. They may already know they have a problem. Add worms to garden beds along with organic materials, and the worms will eat their way through compacted soils, leaving behind burrows and droppings to aerate and fertilize the ground. We farm organically. Replace with fresh soil and plant. First time gardener seeks advice about soil, Persistent herbicides used on hay (clorpyralid for example). Compacted soil: The best way to improve soil compaction is to make sure it doesn't happen — avoid tilling soil when it is too wet or too dry. Find out where the soil came from (really came from) and do a test. It has good structure for drainage, retains moisture, is full of nutrients, warms up quickly in the spring but does not dry out quickly in the summer. I made a batch of compost using paper grocery bags mostly and the color came out brown and there are no worms in it. If not full of floating organic particles, you will need to add organic matter to improve your soils. Or you can buy pH-up and pH down at this link here. Somehow they managed to find a home in your soil and sprouted mushrooms. Sure there are 'fly by nighters' but they don't usually last long as word gets out. I hear that works. Read this info, then do the bio-assay to determine if that's the problem.http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/clopyralid.htm, Here is a link that might be useful: is the OM contaminated? ;-D, "topsoil" is simply the top 4 to 6 inches of soil scraped off someplace that may or may not be worth what you spent on it. Is that so hard? Generally, good soils are loose enough to dig easily. To acidify the soil, ground sulphur is usually added. In the perfect world, yes, add it everywhere. In the end I really don't like the feel of the new mix. In all ferns they are close to the surface and easily disturbed. Might as well haul the stuff off and buy new, it would be cheaper. Media with high % of peat, coir, compost, composted forest products, sand (other than horticultural sand which you would likely consider gravel), topsoil, in any combination lead to watering issues that rob plants of most of their genetic potential. Occam's Razor. Don't mix the new soil you add on top with the contaminated soil below. Soil requires room for air and water to move around the mineral particles to create a healthy environment. Hi there Greeny, When you are growing on a budget, or simply don’t want to keep replacing soil after each session, it is possible to reuse the soil, but it … My grower doesn't sell her growing medium, darn t! You moved to a new home and plants don't seem to grow, or your existing gardens are no longer lush and productive. If your soil was not prepared properly prior to turf installation, your grass will certainly not grow, especially if it lacks nutrient-rich organic matter. Over watering causes leaves to turn yellow the same way too little water causes leaves to die. Prevent soil compaction by avoiding unnecessary tilling (roto-tilling or deep spading ) and walking on planting areas. Well, it was four and a half years ago and we never did learn from the OP what their problem turned out to be, or whether they actually did any tests. I know toxic has vast knowledge in regards to soil and compost, I never challenged that, but he and no one else can tell me what is in my soil by just going through the usual methods. Can they really take some composted leaves and peat and pine needles and add some granite and manure and turn out something that should be allowed to be called topsoil? The soil has to come from somewhere. http://ucanr.edu/sites/UC_Master_Gardeners/, https://www.facebook.com/mgtularekings14/. Choosing plants to grow in clay soil takes some discretion. Hey my soil is full of V. wilt spores and other fungal diseases and high in salts and chlorine but you dont know that and I wont tell you, want to buy it cheap? Imagine the complexity of proteins, carbohydrates, salts, metals, trace herbicides from the grain, pesticides and antibiotics from the eggs, and on and on. Soil Setup. Again mark the silt level on the jar without shaking it. The list is about to be updated from 200 chemicals to 800. We've used him about 5 times now in 2 different homes. You can use chalk and Epsom salts to change the pH of your soil. But after all that scraping and piling and transporting and dumping here and there, the topsoil loses a lot of its 'topsoil' qualities - structure, microbes etc. I basically trust people until I have a good reason not to. Algae grow best in areas with plenty of light, which is why they tend to do well in greenhouses. To be able to improve your soil it is essential to understand the soil type and structure: Clay soil: Clay soil particles are very small and flat and tend to pack together so tightly there is hardly any pore space. When I was in grad school working at the Env. The seller may have learned of a problem since selling that batch and tell you what it is. Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) grows in acid soil that is low in nutrients. (mainly because I have the test kits). Overnight the clay particles will settle over the silt layer. I have not had a lab analysis done (yet) as I am not convinced it is necessary in my case. Keep foot and vehicle traffic to a minimum and off of planting areas. Plants will die from nitrogen deficiency. You should move on to other tests. Learn about mulch types, costs and design considerations here, A worm-powered compost bin that can fit under a sink turns food scraps into a powerful amendment for your garden. Who knows maybe they got that soil from Chernobyl or some nuclear wasteland somewhere? Or in my case with the retaining wall. Is it going to dry out fast enough for my picky AVs or am I going to regret using it? briergardener...I'm only posting this because we just finished a project and what you say in your first post is what I'm basing this off of. I respect toxic to the 10th degree and am not trying to teach him anything. Is a soil test so unheard of?? It makes no sense at all. The most productive media will hold water inside of porous particles, on the surface of all particles, and at the interface where particles contact each other, and there would be no appreciable amount of water in the spaces between soil particles. Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device. The problem is likely the soil. If I ever build on raw land I would insist that the contractor retain all the native topsoil and re-spread it once construction is done. I'm growing my weed in soil in a grow tent. Changing soil pH can take months to show results. That is why in this test you add your own gardensoil for the micro-organisms and the water soluble fertilizer for nutrients. kimmsr said that topsoil is the top 6 inches of the soil or dirt: dead stuff that passes for soil.Like most people, I thought that top soil was rich, full of humus & would grow anything.Now that I KNOW MORE, I would get a sample & have it tested before buying anything. N, P, K, organic matter content, C:N ratio, pH are the ones to start with if the seller has no ideas. Hospital sent over a donut once and asked 'what's in it?' Add at least 2 inches of organic mulch each year. Pore space is an area around the solid particles. I got some soil once for raised beds. PS. I can't locate a source for it without buying in bulk. On this next batch of soil I want to change it but don't know exactly what to do. Mulch around plants, without touching stems, stalks or trunks. Lack of pore space means clay soils are low in both organic matter and microbial activity. It reall would work if you used a lot of salt. How to Make Your Own Potting Soil Mix For the amount of containers I use in my garden, I learned long ago that it’s much cheaper to make my own potting soil and store it in an old trash can, rather than pay for several big sacks of pre-made potting mix. Which is why my American Heritage defines topsoil as 'the upper portion of soil.'. And I don't think anyone is scraping off the earth's surface and bagging it and selling it, so this "top soil" is not the same as the "top soil" that covers the earth. The temperature, humidity, airflow and light of the environment your potted plants grow in all influence the water demand on the soil. You do have to know what you're looking for. Without a soil test its a crap shoot. I would test for whatever is in the soil. Or not. A dump truck owner wanted to buy the top 5-6 inches to mix with sand & sale as top soil.I said NO! And let the lawyers have all the money? ... 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