Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Moose, Aug 3, 2013.
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Do you use it when planting in the ground?
With my "much" lower pH soil here at the house compared to most areas of south Florida, I don't need to lower the pH anymore than I have to. But I certainly would if I lived in certain parts of dade county.
No peat moss here in the sandy 'soils' in the S. Pinellas Desert - toooo expensive and once it dries out... However, I've been applying anywhere from12-20 cu.yds of City supplied mulch (aged to an internal temperature of 159F to kill most weeds) for the past 20 or so years.
I have to amend due to the limestone ridge that Moose Land sits on. I add composted oak leaves as well. Peat moss, oak leaves and native soil (mostly rock) are combined together in the planting hole. Then a liberal layer of mulch is added to the top.
Phil & Jeff - don't sound like you need peat moss. By mulching, you add organic material to your soil as it breaks down. This will lower the pH level slightly, not anything near acid peat moss. What is most important is that a "living soil" is developed. All those critters and microbes create a symbiotic relationship with the crotons. Actually all plants.
I have to heavily amend soils too, due to Key West's inhospitable soil. While I no longer use Peat for acidifying soil or for moisture retention, I have created a base for a soil blend that has produced very nice results. I tweak the blend depending on what I am planting, but the core of ingredients is the same. I use a store brand organic garden soil, WORM CASTINGS (a gardeners best friend), a mycorhizal start up fertilizer, silica sand, and Azomite for granular trace elements. What I have observed is faster establishment, stress and drought tolerance, and rapid new healthy growth. I won't plant without my blend. Can't stress enough of the importance of Worm Castings. This is great stuff for your garden.
Sounds like your THE ONLY one farmer living in key West! Lol! And doing it by the book......
Tim - you have abundant rain fall and Zone 11 climate. Hmmm, I can not reproduce that. Your soil may be crap but as you know you can make amendments.
Worm castings have got me sold. The worms process all that organic material and make a concoction that plants seem to really appreciate. I do not purchase worm castings as I find heavy mulching over time attracts earthworms. My little friends give me copious amount of castings for free. They even distribute around the plants for me as well.
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