Monday, August 23, 2010


Since my main focus in the garden are perennial plants, many people have asked me what kind of soil perennnials like best.  Most perennials grow best in humus-rich soil that has a relatively even balance of clay, sand and silt particles. This perfect soil is called LOAM, and it is perfect for perennials.  It has the ability to hold moisture for a good amount of time, yet it drains fairly quickly, so it's not soggy. (As a rule, perennials don't like soggy conditions).  I had divided some of my iris this year, and I was planting some in my daughter's yard.  I had never really worked with clay soil, but I'll tell you, I thought I had hit some cement!  If you have the unfortunate luck to have a clay soil, you'll need to amend the soil with things to make it as close to loam as possible.  Some things you can add are well-rotted manure, peat moss, decomposed kitchen waste, seaweed, sawdust, wood chips, pine needles, leaf mold, straw (although I don't like working with straw--it's very messy), or hay.  If you compost, the compost pile is a super source of humus. With that said, there are certain perennials that tolerate heavy clay soils.  Some that I have that I know do well are:
  • Bee Balm
  • Coneflower
  • Daylily
  • Foxglove
  • Goatsbeard
  • Valerian
  • Hardy Aster
  • Lady's Mantle
  • Leopard's Bane
  • Meadow Rue
  • Mist Flower
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Ragwort
  • Saxifrage
  • Solomon's Seal
  • Windflower 
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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