Sunday, October 2, 2011


The most important component to having great success in your flower beds is GOOD SOIL.  It does not matter what kind of fabulous plants you have, if you don't have good soil, you won't have flowers that flourish.  And, so, to start off, you need to know your soil.  Some of us may be lucky and have great soil, others of us will need to amend our soil to make sure it has the right texture and nutrients necessary to make those plants vigorous and healthy.  I planted some perennials and bulbs in my daughters' yard yesterday. Even though they live only 6 minutes away, their soil is heavy clay, which I had never seen before.  When I first started planting things in their yard a year ago, I actually thought I had come upon some old cement--it was that hard!  Trying to break it up and dig down very far was nearly impossible!  So, in order to amend that soil for spot planting, I needed to dig deep holes, then add my top soil plus, which has a blend of compost, sterilized manure, mulch, and beautiful, dark, healthy soil, that drains easily and resembles the rich, dark soil found in fertile stream beds.  I add that to the deep, wide hole, and water the plant in well.  The plants I did this to last year have all grown well.  The good soil was alive and active as it promoted good plant growth.  A good soil will hold sufficient water, nutrients, and oxygen for plant roots, and it provides the necessary quality to support a plant.  If you don't know your soil type, you can have your soil tested to measure your pH, salt level, and lime content.  The best number to be at for most perennials is 7.0, although 6 to 7 is still best for most plants.  I have a soil tester, which is easy to use.  The probe is pushed into the soil, and the meter tells me the pH scale.  I do this in several places throughout the yard to determine my soil's quality.  It is recommended that you test your soil every 3-5 years, or, if you garden a lot and have as many plants as I do, even more frequently.  I keep a record of my testing, and can determine what soil amendments need to be added to the soil. As a general rule, though, I typically amend my soils every spring and fall with a good top soil plus, blended in with the existing soil.  Just remember--Poor soil equals Pool Flowers. Taking care of our soil is the best way to ensure great blooms!

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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