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Thread: Help Me Garden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachthimmel View Post
    Source?
    Plants & Flowers Yahoo! Group

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    Here's some more tips, from the same Yahoo! group.

    You can determine, to a certain extent, the condition of your soil by
    looking at what weeds are growing there. Early immigrants to North
    America determined what to grow by looking at the native plants.

    FERTILE SOILS - forests of birch, beech, maple or hemlock grow in
    fertile soils

    SANDY SOILS - you would find white pine, Norway pine, or jack pine.
    This soil had little agricultural value.

    Tall grass prairies - are suitable for orchards, cereal grains, hay
    and fodder crops.

    Bunch grass regions - more suitable for wheat and grass production.

    Wiregrass areas- are less productive

    Short grass areas- least productive.

    Tussock grass, salt grass, and greasewwood- indicate highly alkaline
    soil that is unsuitable for crop production.

    Weeds are also a good indication of what kind of soil is present.
    FERTILE SOILS often find chickweed, chicory, common groundsel, common
    horehound and lambsquarters growing.

    SOILS WITH LOW FERTILITY will have wild carrot, daisy, mugwort,
    common mullein, wild parsnip, wild radish and biennial wormwood.

    Weeds that grow in hard-pan or soils with a crusty surface include:

    Field bindweed
    Corn chamomile
    Quack grass
    Mustards
    Pineapple weed
    Bird rape
    Stinkweed

    Weeds that grown in light, sandy soil include:

    Field bindweed
    Wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace)
    Rabbit-foot clover
    White Cockle
    Cornflower
    Goldenrods
    Field horsetail
    Sheep sorrel
    Corn spurry
    Toadflax

    Weeds that grown in heavy, clay soils include:

    Creeping buttercup
    Wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace)
    Chicory
    Colt's-foot
    English daisy
    Dandelion
    Broad-leaved dock
    Stinking Mayweed
    Plaintains
    Annual sow-thistle
    Canada thistle

    Weeds you will find growing on tilled and cultivated soils:

    Buttonweed
    Buttercups
    Carpetweed
    Calandine
    Chickweed
    Chicory
    Dandelion
    Oak-leaved goosefoot
    Common groundsel
    Henbit
    Common Horehound
    Prostrate knotweed
    Lamb's quarters
    Prickly lettuce
    Musk mallow
    Nettles
    Red root pigweed
    Plaintains
    Field speedwell
    Spurges, (some)

    Weeds you will find growing in untilled or undisturbed soils include:

    White sweet clover
    Ox-eye daisy
    Mugwort
    Common mullein
    Wild parsnip
    Wild radish
    Biennial wormwood
    Yarrow

    If you see the following weeds growing in soils with a HIGH LIME
    content:

    Creeping bellflower
    Bladder Campion
    Wild carrot
    Corn chamomile
    Blue cornflower
    Black henbane
    Hare's-ear Mustard
    White Mustard
    Wormseed Mustard
    Field Peppergrass
    Perennial sow-thistle
    Stinkweed
    Nodding thistle

    You'll find the following weeds in soil that is acidic or low lime:

    Eastern bracken
    Silvery cinquefoil
    Hop clover
    Rabbit-foot clover
    Colt's-foot
    Pink cornflower
    English daisy (especially on lawns)
    Ox-eye Daisy
    Dandelion (especially on lawns)
    Docks
    Hawkweeds
    Horsetails
    Knapweed
    Prostrate knotweed
    Lady's thumb
    Stinking Mayweed
    Common mullein
    Nettles
    Pansy (especially on lawns)
    Field peppergrass
    Plaintains (especially on lawns)
    Wild radish
    Garden sorrel
    Sheep sorrel
    Corn spurry
    Wild strawberries
    Sundews

    You will find the following weeds where the soil has low fertility
    and/or humus:

    Wild carrot
    Sweet white clover
    Ox-eye daisy
    Mugwort
    Common mullein
    Wild parsnip
    Wild radish
    Biennial wormwood

    You will find the following weeds in soils that have HIGH fertility
    and/or humus:

    Chickweed
    Chicory
    Common groundsel
    Henbit
    Lamb's quarters

    You'll find the following weeds growing in soil that contains LOW
    nitrogen:

    Clovers
    Black medic
    Rape
    Vetches

    The following weeds are found in soils with LOW potassium:

    Corn chamomile
    Yarrow

    The following weeds are found in soils with HIGH potassium:

    Buttercups
    Red Clover
    Fumitory
    Knapweeds
    Biennial wormwood

    The following weed will be found growing in soils that are LOW in
    phosphorus:

    Eastern Bracken

    The following weeds are saline tolerant and will grow in soils that
    are salty:

    Shepherd's Purse
    Russian Thistle

    ***Sher***

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/plantsandflowers
    Determining the type of your soil is a crucial step before you start planting. It may be the most essential factor for succesful cultivation.
    Don't pick the species you like/would want on your garden, pick the ones that are compatible with your soil and climatic conditions.
    *You can always improve your soil with compost (organic matter).

    P.S. I recommend you register at this Yahoo! group, it is the most informative I have encountered online

    edit: Some more

    Clear the area

    Make your garden beautiful. A clean, neat, and orderly garden
    is pleasing to the eye, more productive, and has fewer weeds and
    pests.

    Clear the area by removing all undergrowth and brush, all living
    and dead shrubs, roots, and top-growth. Remove everything that
    will interfere with gardening such as trees, stumps, and trash.

    Eliminate Weeds

    There are two types of weeds: annuals and perennials.

    Annuals sprout from seed every year. These can be removed with
    an appropriate tool, or by using a roto-tiller or a tractor to
    plow them under.

    Perennial plants keep growing for several years. You must dig
    perennials up, roots and all, destroying the rhizomes
    (underground stems) and runners. If perennials are not removed,
    they will be a continual nuisance throughout the garden,
    all through the year.

    Break up the Soil

    The soil should be broken up to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
    (Doing so at this time will speed up the actual shaping of the
    soil-beds later.)

    Once your soil-beds are formed and leveled, they are ready for the
    final planting preparations. Here's what you do next.

    Step 1: Apply Fertilizers

    To each soil-bed, evenly spread 2 pounds of the Pre-Planting
    Fertilizer plus 1 pound of the Weekly Feed Fertilizer. You will
    learn how to make these fertilizers in Fertilizing.

    Step 2: Mix Fertilizers with Soil

    Mix the fertilizers and soil together to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
    Make sure to keep the beds level.

    Step 3: Ridge the Soil-beds

    This is one of the most important steps.With the rake tines facing
    down, pull a small amount of soil from the aisles to start a small
    ridge along each string. Then, using the same procedure, pull a
    small amount of soil from the center of the soil-bed to the strings
    creating a ridge.

    Do this until a ridge four (4) inches high has been created.

    Step 4: Flatten the Center

    Next, flatten the center of the soil-bed, creating an area from
    10 to 12 inches wide. Make sure it is flat (not rounded).
    This is where the water will flow during irrigation.

    Your soil-bed is now ready for planting!

    Sher in Sher's Garden
    ***Sher***

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