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Re: Berms

right about top soil being all over the place.

if you buy it bagged from home depot or other mass retailer around here, you get florida muck--it's got some sand in it [everything in florida has some sand in it, even our morning coffee] but not enough to lighten it up. if you buy bulk top soil, you may or may not get good stuff. at our nursery, we recycle a lot of top soil; that is, we run all rooted ripout through a shaker to shake loose the soil off the roots.

it does not produce enough top soil for our needs, of course, so we buy in a lot, also. but top soil, like every other nursery product in florida, has certified grades. and grade a top soil is really nice stuff--a mixture of sand and humus that will aid and abet the growth of anything. it's also expensive at $22 a yard [fill dirt is $10] plus another $40 per man-hour to install and grade.

At 11:55 PM 4/8/03 -0400, you wrote:
Yup, Kitty, the most amazing garbage is sold as "top soil"...top of
what, one wonders.  Muck soils need grit and coarse organic matter
and then, I understand, can be quite productive.  I guess that would
also depend on what the composition really was.  But, alone, muck
soils are yuckky.

One of the loads I got was silt basically.  Lovely, black, soft and
fertile, but when it dries out, it's concrete.  I had requested a mix
of this with sand and was told it was already very sandy...right!
Should have insisted, but did not and have been paying for that error
ever since.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Kitty Morrissy <kmrsy@earthlink.net>
> You must be right about that Marge, because around here topsoil is
> muck; we were even warned against it in our MG class.  Muck soils
> formed when plant material decomposes when oxygen is absent.  When
I order
> soil I get a blend of sand and top soil and mix it with whatever
humus I
> have available.  But just pure topsoil  - what we have here - is
> desireable.
> Kitty

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