Understanding What Lies Beneath The Surface
Check The Entire Soil Profile
One of the most important factors needed for successful gardening, whether vegetable gardening or ornamental gardening, especially in urban gardens where there is a lot of wear and tear, is understanding what's going on beneath the surface. Oftentimes we overlook the importance of correct composting, as well as PH, air, water and space, consequently ending up with unsuccessful plants. Eric wonders what tools T uses to make sure the soil is developing the way he wants and to ensure it's healthy. T feels that to have successful plants it's important to monitor what's going on beneath the surface. And to do that his main tools are a shovel and a soil probe. The probe provides a good idea of what's really happening within the entire soil profile. With the soil probe T has pulled a plug from the soil that is at least 12 inches long, thus shows 1 foot of sub surface soil. This makes it clear that the soil is consistently moist, and the type of soil they are dealing with at this location looks good. Then using the shovel he takes a really good core sample which is equally important. Remember 60-75% of a plants mass is below the surface of the soil. This soil looks good, it has been very effective at promoting root growth. This means the plant will use less water, will be more efficient in taking nutrients from the soil, and that ultimately means a healthier, more disease resistant plant.
By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
Labor Day may represent summer’s unofficial close but now is a perfect opportunity to add late-summer perennials that will continue to beautify your landcare until fall arrives. click here for an article that identifies 9 perennials for late summer.
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