Sunday, 9 December 2012

Cheap Soil Is Just Dirt!

One of the most asked questions that I get is... 'Where can I buy the cheapest dirt?'

My slightly witty, yet not very popular answer is ....

All dirt is cheap! Dirt is what your dog tracks in on your clean floors, or the kids on their hands, or you on your shoes....

Soil, on the other hand, is what you want!
Soil is what you need to grow fabulous flowers and veggies! Sweet carrots, crisp peas, tasty spuds, juicy beets, ... well, you get the picture.

Two piles, one is great garden soil, one is fish compost : )

Soil is the black gold that you grow your food and florals in, whereas dirt really is... just dirt!

So then, where can you buy cheap soil?
The short answer is ... 'It really doesn't matter ...  cuz there is no such thing as cheap soil!'

Why is that?
Well, sadly, the truth of the matter is ... cheap soil is really gonna cost you...  big time!
Remember grandma's old adage 'Only the rich can afford to buy cheap'? She was so right..isn't she always? You should listen to grandma!

If you buy the 'cheap' stuff, you are going to get your money's worth. Just Dirt!
Your plants will not thrive...  they will either not germinate, be spindly and weak, or be riddled with pests and diseases.
You will spend tons of money on amendments... compost, manure, fertiliser, etc to try to improve the quality of your 'cheap dirt'!
Or you will lose hope, think that you have a black thumb, perhaps even give up on gardening altogether ... all because you bought cheap!
It will end up costing you so much more then you thought, will break your heart, and literally take years to amend that cheap soil into the great garden that you wanted, into that lovely potager, bursting with healthy, nutrient rich, home grown veggies, no sprays or inorganic fertilisers needed.

Therefore, my true answer is, though not at all witty, but totally straight forward ....

'Please, invest in the very best soil that you can afford!'

If you do, you will have immediate results.

The back potager in summer.
Great soil gives great results.

You will save money by not having to fertilise the heck out of your plants, nor will you have to invest in sprays for all the pests or diseases that attack weak plants.

I absolutely still recommend that you amend your soil annually, to keep it up to snuff, however, ...

If you have invested in great soil and then, for whatever reason, are unable to, or forget, to amend for a few years, the soil will be still be amazing and you will still grow amazing plants! Simply because you invested in quality soil to begin with!

The nursery beds being built ...  March 22, 2012

Newly planted nursery beds in mid to late June, 2012.

You might wonder at the delay? From March to June?

I simply ran out of time... by the time we got the soil and it stopped raining on the island (PNW, you know ;), it was time to open up the nursery.
So instead of messing around while the greenhouse was open for spring, I used the new beds as a place to prop and display my potted roses ;)

The greenhouse/nursery closed for the summer in mid-June, so then I was able to start planting...

With no fertilisers, composts, manures, or additives involved... simply great soil... the results were/are amazing!

Just two months later .... 
The same beds in summer, taken in early August!

You cannot get these results with cheap dirt! or with cheap soil! 

I know it hurts while you are paying for it... trust me, I said 'Gulp' very, very loudly when we purchased this soil... but you will not be sorry. Ever! I certainly have not had one day of regret!

Please, buy the very best soil that you can afford!

Cuz there truly is no such thing as 'cheap dirt'!

June Garden Ramblings

We have had a very dry and hot month of May but there is hope on the horizon, rain seems to be forecast over the next few days. Fingers ...