Adding soil to rocky hillside

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Mikher, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Mikher

    Mikher Member

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    We're in Sandy Hook, Sechelt, BC, where the hills are steep and rocky around our house. I want to create planters for growing vegetables. Only way I've seen to get soil is to buy it and haul it in. But is there a cheaper way? Can you use the earth from the forests (many of them around us), or do the needles and wood prevent easy growing? There's some swampy land down the road. Can you use that sort of muck to grow vegetables in?

    Suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Only with the permission of the owner! (unlikely to be forthcoming in the case of state or public ownership)
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It'd be tough to recommend anything other than shipping in soil for a raised bed - you'll almost certainly get the best results that way. The better soils in the surrounding area, speaking from observation, have a heavy load of weeds - blackberry and Japanese knotweed, to name two. You'd be wrestling with those for years. The poorer quality soils (esp. forest soils) (in the sense of how they'd be for growing vegetables), should not be disturbed - that'd create a great vector for weedy invasion of the forest, and the surrounding hills there are already fairly degraded.
     
  4. Mikher

    Mikher Member

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    Thanks for writing. What do you think about bog or swamp soil? We have a few low lying areas with lakes and even bogs, and of course the soil nearby is moist and rich. I recall reading that George Washington Carver (the great botanist) used such soil to enrich his garden. A good idea?
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Only if suitable. "Bog" and "swamp" aren't specific enough to tell. You certainly don't want something that may be infested with water molds or come from a low-lying location that has been a collection point for toxic metals or other pollutants, or for mineral salts. Then there is the matter of collecting and transporting damp soil.
     

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