Garden Projects and Ideas - Gardening Forums

Overwhelmed...again

Need advice about building a raised garden bed, double-digging or installing an irrigation system? This is the place to find the help you need!

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Elena Zimmerman » May 27, 2011 8:12 am

Sand is inert material, while zeolite actually breaks the clay up. I add zeolyte everywhere and I add sand and pit-moss when I want a bed with leaner soils or a rock bed (obviously). Basically, it is really a good idea to have beds with different soils, since some plants will do better in rich soil, and some - in lean, and some - in sandy. But zeolite is indispensable, even if pricey for me since I started my battle with the New Subdivision Clay.
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
User avatar
Elena Zimmerman
 
Posts: 681
Joined: May 06, 2010 11:08 am

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Eeyore » May 27, 2011 10:47 am

Would Perilite or Vermiculite work as well Elena?
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
----------------------------------
“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
User avatar
Eeyore
 
Posts: 11182
Joined: Nov 14, 2006 10:47 pm
Location: AB, Zone 3A

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Elena Zimmerman » May 27, 2011 3:18 pm

I think zeolite acts as a dispersant for clay due to ionic exchange (replcaing some ions by another which prevents coagulation of the clay particles), so in essence it breaks clay particles appart. Perlite expands and can hold water in its structure, and thus helps water absorbancy and keeping the soil from collapsing; same happens with vermiculite, which is a clay mineral that breaks into layers and again gives water place to go in its structure. And that's as much as I can tell from a brief look and what soil science background I still have not over-ridden by years of working in groundwater field :)

So, Zeolite is reactive, and perlite and vermiculite are absorbant.

Don't quote me on that!
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
User avatar
Elena Zimmerman
 
Posts: 681
Joined: May 06, 2010 11:08 am

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby styric » May 27, 2011 6:10 pm

I second the having beds with differing soil types. When I moved here two years ago, I checked my soil type and ph (pure clay and very very very alkaline at that), wrote down all the plants I would like to have in the next four years, and their preferences as to soil and sun then built accordingly. I have a potager bed with highly composted, highly mulched good four part top soil, a raised bed that is roughly 60% sand, 40% lean soil, a tiered bed that is clay with sand, peat, compost and as much mulch as I could dig into it to break it up, a regular clay bed, and a mint only bed that is clay, compost and as much organic material as I can trowel into it.

A plant that doesn't do well in the potager (like lavender or rosemary) seems to MUCH prefer the raised sandy bed. I even overwintered lavender successfully in it. I only killed two out of six and one of them is positively going nuts. I didn't mound, or cover or do anything other than pile snow on it. If it thinks the potager is too dry or rich and the raised bed is too lean, then it goes into the tiered bed that stays wetter longer.

It's a long convoluted system but it seems to be doing good. I don't have half the plants many of you do yet as I elected to spend the first two years amending the soil, but I'm working on it. The only things I've killed in two years so far is an astilbe I didn't water enough to establish it, two lavenders and a clematis that has me thoroughly stumped.

I'm sure that count will go up, especially with the tree shredder around.

Now, give me a house plant and people take bets as to how fast I kill it. :lol:
The most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
User avatar
styric
 
Posts: 309
Joined: May 23, 2010 10:45 pm

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Elena Zimmerman » May 30, 2011 8:21 am

I am going to plant the clematises this year the way I planted roses: deep trench (to the bedrock in my case, can't do full 45 cm) with compost mixture, 10 cm below the ground for the 'crown', but in perlite, not soil, and a pitmoss cap over that. Plus, I will isntall a couple three feeder bottles, mulch with gravel, and install a few big rocks to shade the roots. And put them against solid walls.
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
User avatar
Elena Zimmerman
 
Posts: 681
Joined: May 06, 2010 11:08 am

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Smitty » May 30, 2011 9:48 am

Elena Zimmerman wrote:I am going to plant the clematises this year the way I planted roses: deep trench (to the bedrock in my case, can't do full 45 cm) with compost mixture, 10 cm below the ground for the 'crown', but in perlite, not soil, and a pitmoss cap over that. Plus, I will isntall a couple three feeder bottles, mulch with gravel, and install a few big rocks to shade the roots. And put them against solid walls.


that should work for you!!! and for extra winter protection..pile the leaves to them
""Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain."
Smitty BBS :-)
User avatar
Smitty
 
Posts: 5299
Joined: Jun 11, 2008 2:07 pm
Location: manitoba zone3

Re: Overwhelmed...again

Postby Elena Zimmerman » May 30, 2011 11:09 am

Thank you! I am keeping fingers crossed!

I will probably do pit moss and conifer branches for both the roses and clematises if any of them survive the summer. That would be my 3rd clematis attempt, and if none of the 4 I got will take, that would be it for trying to get clematis started until I move to BC 20 years from now.
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
User avatar
Elena Zimmerman
 
Posts: 681
Joined: May 06, 2010 11:08 am

Previous

Return to Garden Projects and Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron

Follow Style At Home Online

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests