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Marie profiled in Green Source DFW June 29th, 2015
Growing Urban Roots -
Acres USA Dec. 2014 Issue
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NeighborsGo - July 2010
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Market Day - Our Humble Beginnings
"...an urban country adventure." - Kim Pierce DMN
Get a jackhammer - no just kidding. But you may need to think about
building up the soil into a bit of a raised bed in order to plant larger
specimens. I have worked in rocky soil before and it seems like there
isn't any soil to plant in, but it's there. This may be a job for the
pros. Give Kevin and his team with
JKS Landscapes a call.
If you're going to do it yourself, we carry a wonderful product that has
compost, lava sand and greensand already mixed together that is helpful when
"fill-in" dirt is needed. Be careful where you get "fill-dirt" from if you
buy it bulk for large areas. We highly recommend
Systems. Give them a call direct, or let us help set up delivery to
you house. You'll still need to incorporate whatever existing soil is
there with the additional soil you buy. Water doesn't transfer too well
between two different layers of soil types. You can create a bathtub
effect and that's not usually a good thing.
What you'll need
- Tools - shovel, hoe, metal rake, possibly a pick axe, and a wheelbarrow.
- Compost - and lots of it! Make your own for free or
buy it by the bag. You can even have it delivered by the yard, right to
You will need to add at least 6" to the top 6" - 8" of the soil to
give your plants something to root into. Don't
skimp here on compost. An average bag of compost is 2 cubic feet and at
4" deep it will
cover an area of 6 square feet. Check out Soil Building Systems handy
for larger areas that may need bulk amounts of compost.
- Lava sand - no trip to a volcano necessary. We have here it in 40lb
bags. You'll only use about 4# per 100 square feet. So a whole bag will cover
an area that is 10' x 100'. Lava sand adds a special paramagnetic value
to the soil that really seems to speed up the process at which nutrients are
available to the plants. So whereas it isn't a fertilizer in its own
right, it sure helps make fertilizers work better. Not to mention its
water holding capacity which is very important in a porous soil like the sugar
sand is. Don't think you can add too much of this wonder amendment.
It is great stuff and not very expensive either.
- Greensand - no, not what's in the kid's sandbox after the neighbor's cat
gets done. This greensand is chocked full of trace minerals and a great
source of iron that won't be so harsh like the synthetic iron supplements you
may have been used to. It can go out at a rate of 2 - 4 lbs per 100
square feet. You shouldn't need to add this amendment but once in a
while as most of the nutrients it contains are not readily leached or used up
by the plants. We have it in 40lb bags and it is very reasonably priced,
especially since a little goes such a long way.
- Dry Molasses - naw, not the stuff Granny baked with - but boy will the
microbes in your soil eat it up! We don't want to spoil them too much,
it only needs to go out at about 5lbs per 1000 square feet. This amendment
can also be sprayed on in a liquid molasses form. If you're
not seeing too many earthworms in that soil, it may not mean that the
neighbor is using them for bait. There may just not be enough good
stuff to attract them. You can add this
periodically to keep the microbes and the earthworms happy.
- Cornmeal - not the kind you'd make muffins out of! This is an
animal food grade cornmeal that still contains all the good parts of the
meal. It helps control and kill fungi that grow in the soil and often
cause root problems. Common brown patch, Phytophthora, a fungus
that can take out a bed of periwinkles, and other various fungal diseases can
all be controlled with corn meal. We add it to our soil preparation just
as a preventative measure and it adds a bit of nutrition, too. Shouldn't need more than
about 10lbs per 1,000 square feet. Comes in various sizes.
- General Organic Fertilizer - you pick your favorite. We suggest a
nicely balanced one like Maestro Gro's Texas Tea or Biofrom Dry. Just
stay away from the synthetic based high nitrogen mixes. Most of them
will just leach away after a good rain anyway. (As in leach a way into your
water tank, drinking water system or our rivers and streams that is. More
about why that is bad on our environmental page.)
- Earthworm Castings - that's worm poop for you newbies. Earthworms
eat, well, they eat earth. So what a better place to find a nice wide variety of
nutrients, minerals and even some earthworm eggs! You can double up on
this one. Put it out at 10 - 20 lbs per 1,000 square feet - and then put
a pinch in each hole before you put the seed or plant in. All that
eating will help keep your black gumbo soil aerated.
- Lime - we don't mean slice up a bunch of little green limes and
toss them out there. If you've got rocky soil, you may need to add
some lime, as in the nutrient, to help balance things out. Give us a
call and we'll help you out here, or send a sample of your soil to
www.txplant-soillab.com and they can tell you how much of it you need -
if you need it at all.