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[IGSROBIN] "red" clay

Hello Ingrid,

Hope you forgive me for my very belated reply. You asked how is to grow
geraniums in my heavy red clay...well, most of them definitely dislike that
soil. To tell the truth, the colour is a sort of orange-brown rather than
true red, though people use to call this soil "the red earth",
and without any "affection" in their words, believe me...:-)
It must be improved with large amounts of compost, it is very
sticky after rain or watering, and gets hard as concrete with a web of
fissures when the weather is dry. And the pH was over 8 when we measured it
the last time.
In such a soil even  hardy geraniums need more care (the surface needs a
frequent hoeing to avoid fissures, for instance) and I keep many of them in
large pots or raised beds.
No problem with G. macrorrhizum, phaeum, nodosum and almost all
the x oxonianum hybrids (except for 'A.T. Johnson'). They look fairly
happy in that clay, but I think it would be shocking for me to see the same
plants in a British garden! Luckily geraniums are somewhat uncommon
in the gardens around here, and mine looks good enough, after all :-))

All the best, Marisa

-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Ingrid <alfmike@ALGONET.SE>
Data: sabato 16 gennaio 1999 21.24
Oggetto: [IGSROBIN] R: this time of the year;seeds!

>Oh Marisa,
>Your words...'heavy red clay' does conjure up some lovely pictures! How is
>it to grow Geraniums in it...is it easily improved with compost? It is such
>a lovely contrast to green leaves!
>Thank You for Your advice, it is much appreciated!

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