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in Problem solving
Is it ok to put just top soil in containers? I'm thinking about the huge containers that I've ended up with for my clematis and delphiniums. Compost gets very expensive.
Charley, do you mean topsoil from your own garden beds? Why are your plants in huge containers? Any special reason for this? Not being nosy really, just that it is easier for people to answer your question if we know the reason for the containers.
No, it's top soil from a local landscaper because I need lots to straighten out my lawn. The reason for the huge containers is for clematis, which need at least 40cm deep and delphiniums - slightly smaller containers but take a lot of compost to fill.
Why are the clems and delphs not going straight into the ground?
Because there isn't any soil where I want to put the plants
I don't see why not, but top soil in itself varies greatly depending on where it came from and what it has been used for. If you mix in some compost and are talking about large containers then it can't be any worse than the topsoil I put in my raised beds, and that does okay. Figure out what you can about it - ie if it is free draining and sandy like the soil here, you will want to bulk it out with organic material, or if it is clay then something to break it up. Compost alone would quickly become spent, so soil is a better long term growing medium I would have thought. Our raised beds were built because the garden is topped off with 2ft of spent iron ore - curious blue rock fused together with rusty streams of iron. Not an ideal growing medium!! But I top the beds up with compost, manure and use liquid feeds, and we do okay.
Right, that makes complete sense. Thanks Busy Bee2. It's interesting that you use liquid feed too. Sounds like you've got it sussed with your raised beds. They certainly seem to be an excellent alternative to the normal beds - and look nice too. I'm half excited and half nervous about half a ton of top soil arriving on our drive on Thursday, which I have to shovel into a storage bag during the day. I think a hot bath will be in order at the end of the day
I half fill my big pots with topsoil mixed with compost or manure and top up with compost so the weeds in the topsoil don't grow. The soil gives a longer lasting substance. I've done that for clematis and roses.
Excellent, thanks Busy-Lizzie. Great to hear that it works for clematis in particular.
What about your lawn??? Are you laying down inferior soil. Is the grass not worthy???
Only kidding CharleyD.
If its good enough for the grass then it is good stuff.