How to create an acidic/loamy type soil

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mrs bouquet

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How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« on: November 04, 2020, 13:43 »
I have just bought a Skimmia Reevesiana.    It will go in a container and RHS says, loamy, acidic (important).
Also bought Multi-purpose.   What should I add to this to make a perfect mix for this lovely shrub.   Thank you, Mrs Bouquet
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mumofstig

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 16:18 »
Would have been better to have bought ericaceous compost for it ;) difficult to make ordinary compost/soil suitable tbh :(
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Aunt Sally

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2020, 16:58 »
I agree with Mum, Mrs B.
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New shoot

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 19:34 »
Acid loving plants like that dont like to dry out, so MP alone is risky.  Even some bagged ericaceous composts are a bit light in this respect.

What do you have to hand Mrs B?  What would be ideal would be some John Innes to add to the compost.  It just needs to be a bit heavier than MP but not so much that it will sit waterlogged.

The MP compost will be around neutral pH, but you can water with rain water for a good start and if you have acidic feed or anything labelled as good from rhododendrons, that will help acidify the compost. If not, your local hardware shop might be able to help, or failing that mail order, or check with local garden centres to see if they are doing click and collect. 


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mrs bouquet

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 16:27 »
Thanks for your replies.   The big old one was just in an ordinary chalky bed.    I did give it a 4 monthly feed of Epsom Salts.    Early this year, I had it removed it had gone very leggy and was full of Crocosmia from neighbours !    I took two cuttings from it, but they are tiny.  I wanted "Reevesiana" because it self-fertilising so I have berries and flowers.    Because it had been in my garden for at least 35 years, prior to my moving here, it did not cross my mind.    Now I want it in a container so I want to give it the best chance.   I shall get a small bag of ericacious soil and mix it with MP.  Then I can use left-over to top dress sometimes.  I do hope I do it right, it was very expensive.   :ohmy:    how much !!!    Thanks again friends,  Mrs Bouquet

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Subversive_plot

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 00:49 »
I'm a geologist with some experience in soil science.  A loam is a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay. If you can find a natural soil that can be squeezed into a lump that mostly holds together, but is moderately crumbly, and that feels gritty, that is a good approximation of loam.

To make it an acidic, organic loam, mix that loam well with roughly an equal volume of peat moss.
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Yorkie

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2020, 17:10 »
Peat moss is increasingly frowned upon over here and thus difficult to get, S_P, owing to the damage to the environment that peat extraction can cause. Pine needles are often said to be fairly acidic.
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wolveryeti

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2021, 13:41 »
You can buy sulphur powder or 'flowers' which will lower pH of soil as per pine needles. It is slow release like lime so less risk of borking the plant.

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Jade Storm

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 14:13 »
I just googled it, and I found several articles that state pine needles do not create acidic soil. I didn't know about the peat moss. I want to try to grow blueberries but our soil is very alkaline. We have a stone quarry not far from us that blasts limestone and the dust from the quarry has settled on our property. After 50 years or so of blasting, our soil has slowly become more alkaline. My dad would try increasing acidity with tomato juice and I've read adding vinegar.

Not to high-jack a thread, but does anyone know if putting an acid-loving plant, like blueberries, in a pot with peat moss, rather than planting directly in the ground would work?

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Yorkie

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Re: How to create an acidic/loamy type soil
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 18:20 »
You can control the environment in a pot, so you would just use ericaceous compost and then fertilisers suitable for ericaceous (lime-hating plants) on an ongoing basis, as already suggested or bespoke ones for e.g. camellias / rhododendrons.

Peat is not recommended owing to environmental impact.



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