Loose Soil

tkhooper(7)November 24, 2010

I love playing in the dirt. So my question is about tall plants and how to keep them upright.

I have very loose soil in my foundation bed that has been worked for about 15 years. It is so loose that the gladiolus fall right over even when they are just leaves.

I'm wondering if I should add clay to the loose soil. Do you have any suggestions for me?

I don't want to use a wood mulch in that area because it is right up against the house and I don't need termites.

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Gladioli almost always need staking, whatever the soil is like.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 4:23PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

You might try setting the tall plants deeper into the ground and then hilling them.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Sounds like you do need something to add to your soil to make it more friable, able to take in moisture and retain it. I cant see a bulb coming up and falling over simply because there's no compaction of the soil to any extent.
Sunds more like you're trying to grow something in sand.
For sand, add organic matter which is more generally suggested to be made up of compost to about 30 - 40%. Then add peat moss/sand/and maybe even some potting soil with perlite/vermiculite.

No need to worry about termites in wood mulch...they will not take to living in this medium. Earwigs will though and, because its always damp there, set up housekeeping and a you provide a nice dinner menu with the plants.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:15PM
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Sometimes my glads fall over growing in my sandy soil with about 8 percent organic matter mixed in, so staking is necessary. A soil with 30 to 40 percent organic matter is going to hold way too much water for plants to grow in, that would be a bog, fen, swamp as well as very difficult to attain.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 6:38AM
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