Soil Tests & analisis of bottom ash from coal fired power plant

October 29, 2008
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Categories: Diseases and Pests, Growing Daffodils, Non-Daffodil, Soil

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In a message dated 10/29/2008 12:47:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

our soil is
50% cracked shale, 10% cobbles and 40% heavy clay, and utterly
impossible to dig as well as non-draining. 

Melissa,
You have my sympathy!  I live on the southernmost spur of the Catoctin Mountain range in Virginia. Technically, the soil I grow my daffodils in is called “Mountain Cobble”.  It sounds just about like what you have described above.  Part of the east basement wall of our house is a boulder — literally! The garden in that area sits on that same boulder — I dig about six inches down and — voila — boulder!  Obviously, I can’t grow much there, including daffodils, so the area is dedicated to mountain wildflowers which can take that environment. The west side is a bit better, and I’ve managed to turn that into “growable” daffodil beds by adding lots of compost and Virginia Fines to build it up a bit.
Over the years we’ve lost a number of our 200-250 year old oak trees to disease, old age, and storms. Every time a tree comes down, I have the stump ground up, add lots of compost to raise it above ground, and have a new daffodil bed. That’s why all my beds are round — they’re where trees once stood!  I’ve found that these make the very best beds, where the roots of the old trees have broken up the rock and boulder below, and drainage is great.
We work with what we have don’t we?
Lina Burton

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