Re: replenishing soil

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Posted by Newt on July 21, 2003 at 21:05:02:

In Reply to: replenishing soil posted by Bill on July 19, 2003 at 18:45:36:

: Just bought a house here in South-central Arkansas. The patch of the yard where we want to start our garden has very poor soil. It's ash-gray and quite hard. I suspect it has something to do with the very large magnolia which used to dominate that part of the yard and which was removed some time last year. So my question is, do magnolia trees hog up particular nutrients that I should be looking to replenish, or should I just continue adding manure, humus, peat moss and the like? The rest of the yard appears healthy, by the way. Grass is very lush, plenty of earthworms, etc.

Hi Bill,

Congratulations on your new home! Most trees will take all the moisture and nutrients from the soil. You're on the right track with adding organic matter to the soil. You don't have to use peat, actually it's not recommended by most horticulturists any more. Here's a site that explains that.
http://www.ondelmarva.com/

The best thing you can do for the soil is to add compost. A layer of 2" to 3" would be best. Here's some sites if you like to read. :)

http://www.soilfoodweb.com/phpweb/
http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/SoilBiology/soil_biology_primer.htm
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/soil/

Best of luck,
Newt

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