Soil amendments

Barbara L. Weintraub
Fri, 06 Sep 2002 15:47:01 PDT
Hi Jane,
If I understand the concept correctly, you intend to use a lot of native
plants in the border that your are planning. If so, my experience in New
Mexico may be adaptable to your situation.

I've been experimenting with native plants for quite a few years. I have
planted native (western US dryland species including New Mexico endemics)
in pure native soil with great success. I've also lost numerous plants to
rot, or quick soft growth that does not withstand weather changes, etc.,
in amended soil. Penstemons particularly suffer under such cultural
conditions, resulting in their reputation for being short-lived.
Therefore, I urge caution in amending the soil at all. For those plants
not adapted to the climate and soil, add a small amount of organic
material such as non-manure-based compost to the planting hole and
immediate area

Sounds like a fun project! 
Barbara L. Weintraub
Santa Fe, NM 87508-8769

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