Strawberry soil

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cheryl in SD, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    We just cleaned up the wood pile area and have a pickup load of decomposed bark (mostly pine) that LOOKS like really rich soil. Would this work to plan strawberries in? It is very loose and still has small chunks of bark.

    Thanks,
    Cheryl
     
  2. Greg

    Greg Member

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    I think if its new wood it will decrease the nitrogen as it rots and you would have to add a lot of nitrogen back. If its older wood and already composted it would be better.
     

  3. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you can add some rotted manure first and work it in that would really help. wild strawberries grow in old decompoing tree areas and they seem happy! The first year you plant you shouldn't let them blossom or runner anyways so by next year the soil should be "evened" out and they should do well.
     
  4. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    depending on how many chunks of bark are in it, you may have to make sure you keep it watered as it will dry out quicker
     
  5. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    I have some expanded wire here, about 1/2 inch holes. Dh is suggesting that I screen the soil and keep out the really big stuff. I have 2 pickup loads of this so I will still have plenty to work with.

    Thanks!
    Cheryl
     
  6. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd use it as mulch for the strawberries.
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Although your material may look something like soil, it is far from it. It would serve as a great soil conditioner but have little nutrient value. Dry wood chips have a total of only 2.2 pounds of nutrients per ton. (By contrast, tree leaves have over 60 pounds of nutrients per ton.) Broken down over time and with rain leaching some of that out, what remains of decomposed wood is virtually inert. Mixed with manure or other high-nitrogen material, it would then be a great conditioner for heavy soils. Otherwise, it's of little value by itself.

    Martin
     
  8. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    My grandpa had a pile of wood chips delivered/to a spot that was all clay and a few years later he was planting tomatoes in and around the area as they were still decomposing but in well rotted area's, also my grandma grew flowers there (the same kind she had around the house) Well I was little but I still tremember that everything grew to enormous sizes honestly the flowers were 5 times as big as any of the ones around the house. There was nothing besides well rotted wood chips added as far as I know.
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Here are some actual sample figures from J.I.Rodale's "Complete Book of Composting", total NPK per ton dry weight:

    Douglas Fir shavings: 2.6#
    Cedar shavings: 2.2#
    Hemlock sawdust: 2.8#
    Ponderosa Pine shavings: 2.2#

    At 2.2#, the NPK analysis is 0.04-0.04-0.03. Thus sawdust, shavings, and chips are never considered more than an amendment to temporarily alter the soil pH and structure. The only nutritional benefits come from whatever else is mixed with it or that which is already present and freed up by the soil structure change.

    Martin
     
  10. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    If we are talking about the same thing,this stuff is free around here,if you pick it up at the timberyards.Locally,it's referred to as "grit bark".I buy a soil mix,to use on landscape installs,from a place that usues the grit as basis for the mix.They mix several things in,like sand,sifted clay,topsoil,amd manure,and possibly other stuff.It is then allowed to cook for a while,until it's ready for sale,and it's great stuff.If nothing else,it should be great for soil structure.I'd till it in with the existing topsoil,and a little composted manure.Give it a little while,the test what you have made,for nutes and PH,and go from there.If it does rob a little nitrogen,nitrogen is easily replaced.
     
  11. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I understand that in undecomposed chips and other carbon matter
    that is the case and during the decomposition process microbes are suppose to tie up available nutrients ; however Once it is decomposed it actually contains all the nutrients your plants could want.
     
  12. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    But, it has to get those extra nutrients from somewhere in order to tie them up. And that comes from whatever else it is mixed with!

    Martin