General Discussion:

Poppies and Soil in General

Messages posted to thread:

Keith16-Sep-00 12:14 AM EST   
Doug17-Sep-00 01:31 AM EST   
Larry17-Sep-00 12:57 PM EST   
Kay17-Sep-00 07:54 PM EST   

Subject: Poppies and Soil in General
From: Keith
Date: 16-Sep-00 12:14 AM EST

Yellowknife here -- I have various gardens, front and back. In a front one, I have tried to grow Icelandic poppies.They grow like weeds, EVERYwhere around here, so bad that people are eager to kill them off lest they go out of control. I figured I couldn't go wrong.

So I have transplanted many poppy plants into this front garden over the years, some bought, some donated by exasperated friends.... but in MY front garden, they tend to wither and die. In my strawberry patch, under the fence to the neighbour's yard, they grow healthy and robust. But where I WANT them, they don't do well.

Which reminds me, ALL of my plants seem to do less well than others in the neighbourhood. Could it be my soil? I have never treated or tested my soil, and I don't know how. Suggestions?

Subject: RE: Poppies and Soil in General
From: Doug
Date: 17-Sep-00 01:31 AM EST

For telling what your soil holds, in general, dig up a spade full of soil where you want to plant and look at the layers(different colors) that run through the sample. A good soil should be for the most part black (indicating a large portion of loam) with some tightly packed tan areas(shows clay). A soil that is mostly tan will be very hard to grow things in because clay doesnt allow for proper drainage through the soil.

Another test to do to check your soil is to take a small palm-full of soil and saturate it. Then rub the soil with your finger until it all crumbles away. With the few particles that remain in your hand, you should be able to tell what the major components of your soil are, (gritty=sandy soil, slippery=clayey soil, and inbetween these two lies loamy soil).

To fix a sandy or clayey soil, you will need to add compost and peat moss(which will aid in holding moisture and nutrients in sandy soils and will improve drainage in clay soils). This will probably have to be done for a couple of years in order to get a good soil produced.

Subject: RE: Poppies and Soil in General
From: Larry
Date: 17-Sep-00 12:57 PM EST

Sounds like you have a heavy or clayey soil. If you squeeze a handful of the soil and it sticks together it is heavy in clay. The first answer to the problem is the best. However, if you cannot add organic matter there are products on the market that break of the clay. Gypsum is one. Aeration would also help.

Subject: RE: Poppies and Soil in General
From: Kay
Date: 17-Sep-00 07:54 PM EST

Dawson Creek here! You should be able to find some good sphagnum moss nearby. That will help for a while. We are continually digging something or other into our soil to keep it from packing. Do you have earthworms? Here in our yard it seems as if they destroy the soil tilth and eat out the organic matter as fast as you can put it in. Now, don't anyone misunderstand me, but that is what I have observed and until you try to dig my garden, you wouldn't know. I am presently digging up the area I am putting in some new tulip bulbs. The soil comes up with many little sticky balls, quite uniform, and I have to wonder if they are earthworm casts. People run hot and cold on this subject. Maybe it depends on what kind of soil you start out with.

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