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soil amendments for clay soil - best value?

soil amendments for clay soil - best value?
Posted by Stephanie Webb from tx on 2001-04-04 14:15:42

I have an old flower bed that I want to re-vamp and plant perinniels and annual flowers. The soil is heavy with clay and doesn't drain well. (We live in Dallas, TX for what that's worth.)

I know I need to add soil amendments but I have found a big price difference. The cheapest stuff I have found is called "organic humus" or "organic humus and manure" found at Home Depot and Wal-Mart for about $1 per 40 lb bag.

Then I have seen compost sold at nurseries for more like $6 for a 40 lb bag. Since I'm on a tight budget, I want to know if the cheaper humus would do the job as well as the more expensive compost. (I know making my own compost is cheapest but I'm not up for that!)

Any input?

  • ammending clay
    Posted by Jerry Digman from 5b on 2001-04-05 12:27:49

    The HD and WM compost is excellent. Mix with gypsum - 10 lbs/100 sqft - to make at least 50% compost-soil mix. You can also till in 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 slow rel genl purp fert per the label's recomm-ed rate.


    Quoting Stephanie Webb: ------------
    -I have an old flower bed that I want to re-vamp and plant perinniels and annual flowers. The soil is heavy with clay and doesn't drain well. (We live in Dallas, TX for what that's worth.)

    -I know I need to add soil amendments but I have found a big price difference. The cheapest stuff I have found is called "organic humus" or "organic humus and manure" found at Home Depot and Wal-Mart for about $1 per 40 lb bag.

    -Then I have seen compost sold at nurseries for more like $6 for a 40 lb bag. Since I'm on a tight budget, I want to know if the cheaper humus would do the job as well as the more expensive compost. (I know making my own compost is cheapest but I'm not up for that!)

    -Any input?

    • clarification? - I'm a novice!
      Posted by Stephanie Webb from TX on 2001-04-05 13:24:30

      Quoting Jerry Digman: ------------
      -The HD and WM compost is excellent. Mix with gypsum - 10 lbs/100 sqft - to make at least 50% compost-soil mix. You can also till in 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 slow rel genl purp fert per the label's recomm-ed rate.


      -Quoting Stephanie Webb: ------------
      -I have an old flower bed that I want to re-vamp and plant perinniels and annual flowers. The soil is heavy with clay and doesn't drain well. (We live in Dallas, TX for what that's worth.)

      -I know I need to add soil amendments but I have found a big price difference. The cheapest stuff I have found is called "organic humus" or "organic humus and manure" found at Home Depot and Wal-Mart for about $1 per 40 lb bag.

      -Then I have seen compost sold at nurseries for more like $6 for a 40 lb bag. Since I'm on a tight budget, I want to know if the cheaper humus would do the job as well as the more expensive compost. (I know making my own compost is cheapest but I'm not up for that!)

      -Any input?

      • is humus the same as compost?
        Posted by Stephanie Webb from TX on 2001-04-05 13:28:32



        Thanks for your reply. Two quick questions: When you say the HD and WM compost is good, is that the same as humus? I didn't know the difference.
        Secondly, where might I look for gypsum?

        Many thanks!!

        Stephanie

        • gypsum
          Posted by Jerry Digman from 5b on 2001-04-07 09:47:31

          Gypsum is available at HD, Lowes, garden centers - likely anywhere retail outlet compost is.

          Sorry about the confusion.

          Quoting Stephanie Webb: ------------


          -Thanks for your reply. Two quick questions: When you say the HD and WM compost is good, is that the same as humus? I didn't know the difference.
          -Secondly, where might I look for gypsum?

          -Many thanks!!

          -Stephanie

        • Is humus and compost the same
          Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b - MI on 2001-04-06 07:52:27

          Although the terms are often used interchangeably they are not the same. Humus is the undigested part of the organic matter in your soil and is part of the soil structure. Those bags of stuff in the stores labeled humus are, if properly labeled, Finished Compost and when added to your soil will become humus after the soil bacteria work on it, or at least what's left by them. Since there are no rules and regulations to govern what is sold as compost, humus, or topsoil there is a wide range of values and much of what is sold at $1.00 per 40 pound bag isn't worth that price. Maybe buy one bag and take it home and examine it and see if that's really something you want to add to your soil.
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