Local Soil Conditions – Simplified, Coastal South Carolina has three basic types of soil. One is Silicate that looks like black dirt in which water just stands on top. There is also a second type called Wet Clay it is like jello–locals call it Gumbo. Thirdly there is,being on the coastline, a type called Sandy Soil–which is very porous due to its sand content. These different types of soils present a real challenge for southern gardeners. Gardeners will benefit from various types of soil amendment procedures, eg. adding Peat Moss, a Top soil substitute, adding organic material, etc.
Grass/Sod-Lawns should be watered deeply. For a newly seeded or newly sodded Centipede lawn, thoroughly watering in the early morning is best. An inch of water per week is what is needed. Once you start watering in the summer, maintain a regular scheduled. A hit- or-miss approach can be worse than no water at all.
Mulch- Never underestimate the value of a layer of mulch around the bases of all your plants- annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Mulch prevents the intense rays of the sun from baking the soil, keeping it loose and easy for water to penetrate. Mulch also cuts down on much of the evaporation from the soil “holding in” the water you are adding while giving you some weed control.
Staking a Tree- Staking a tree should only be done when necessary, such as when roots are not solid in the planting hole or when the tree could be dislodged by high winds. In most instances, the weight of the root ball is normally sufficient enough to hold the tree in place.Trees with trunks up to two inches can be supported with a single 2″ x 2″ x 8′ stake driven firmly into the ground at a 45 degree angle close to the trunk and attached to the tree with plastic ties designed for this purpose. wrap the trunk of the tree to protect it from rubbing up against the stake. Tree with trunks larger than 2 inches in diameter may require 2 or 3 stakes or guide wires anchored into the soil. Remember to remove the stakes and wires after one growing season.
Make your own compost- Making your own compost is an excellent way to reduce kitchen and yard waste. Grass clippings, shredded leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells and coffee grounds can all go into a compost pile. However, do not add meat scraps or fat. These items will attract animals and will smell while decomposing. Be sure to turn your compost pile frequently. In periods of dry weather, add a bit of water pile. In about a year, you will have a rich, odor-free soil additive to add to your garden.
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