[NAFEX] soil amendment - not really fruit
list at ginda.us
Tue Oct 27 17:55:06 EDT 2009
Apologies for a soil question regarding my lawn and ornamentals. But
you guys know a lot about soil, and perhaps will be kind enough to
I had a patio installed in my yard this summer, and the installers
leveled some land and filled with a lot of rock dust. They also
compacted a lot of my soil driving the rock dust and equipment up to
the back of the yard. So the soil needs some work, especially the
stuff that has a lot of compacted rock dust.
They finished by spreading some topsoil (well, sort of) and planting
grass. The grass came up pretty much everywhere, but is thin in areas
where I suspect the soil it too compacted or is shy on topsoil I also
planted some ornamentals (the weeping redbud you guys teased me about
and a lot of epimedium) right around the patio. These are already
planted (yeah, maybe I should have amended the soil first) and the
growing season is coming to a close.
The area is shady, under oaks. It's on top of a hill, and the
undisturbed part of my soil is very well drained. Like, we were all
astonished at how incredibly dry the soil was when they dug the
foundation, and when I fill a hole with water let's just say it's hard
to actually "fill" a hole. I marvel at descriptions of waiting an
hour for the hole to drain. The native subsoil is mostly a fine
yellowish dust interspersed with varying sized chunks of granite. The
native topsoil is brown matted oak roots. (only partly kidding.)
The two obvious things I can use to amend my soil are:
* Oak leaves, shredded or whole (I will have a huge crop in a week or
* A bag of earthworm castings from "Coast of Maine"*
I also have some compost at the bottom of the pile where I toss the
excess leaves every year. It's slightly enriched with vegetable
scraps my husband dumps there.
Do you think it would help or hurt the lawn if I spread a thin coat of
shredded leaves over the area with poor soil?
How deeply do you think I can mulch the epimedia and red bud with
Do you think the earthworm casings will help the epimedia and red
bud? How much would you spread?
Any other suggestions?
Thanks for any advice.
Eastern MA, zone 6
* I don't think I would have bought these, but to those of you who
remember my trouble growing tomatoes in a pot of their soil, this is
part of my compensation from them. They delivered replacement potting
soil and this bag of earthworm casings by way of apologizing for my
being misled by their labeling.
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