Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal?

A: It’s a fact of garden life that even the softest soil hardens eventually. This is combated by spreading a layer of rich organic material, like the combination you’re using, around plants in the fall. Another garden fact is that soil gradually becomes acidic and an occasional application of lime counteracts that. I’d mix a cup of lime and a cup of cottonseed meal (for long term plant nutrition) with every two cubic feet of top dressing you use.

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