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I agree that new gardeners should know their soil type, but whatever happened to a bit of common sense. If you are in a Cornish valley surrounded by Azaleas that you will probably have acidic soil, if you are on the coast it may be sandy and if you have heavy clay that you cannot get your fork in, that it is alkaline.
Some people try to garden in isolation, without lifting their heads and looking at what is growing next door. Some people also seem to enjoy battling against the conditions in their own garden. A fool and his money.............
I certainly wasted a lot of time and money when I first started gardening because I didn't understand soil type and acidity. I also didn't take into account much whether plants like light or shade. I just bought what I thought looked nice and shoved it in! As you say, I was a fool and I was certainly parted from a lot of my money! Learning about my type of soil (sandy) and its pH (very alkaline) took a couple of years, but that was all part of the process of learning about gardening. When I first started, even if I had looked at my neighbours gardens, I still wouldn't have been able to identify what the plants were and be able to ask for them in a garden centre! So glad those days are over - and so is my wallet!
Does anyone know if soil testing kits stop working after a while. I bought one, didn't use it then rediscovered it a year or so later. When I used it it seemed to be telling me that my soil was very low on every nutrient going. I'm sure it's not that bad!!!
christopher2 surely common sense would tell you to do some research before buying plants? But people don't so why do you think they are going to research plants that match their soil types?
Of course, christopher2, sensible really. It's just I hate wasting things.