AS­SESS YARD YOUR

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - How your world works -

START BY HEAD­ING to your near­est gar­den cen­tre or soils.org.za and se­lect­ing links, this will help you find a lab or univer­sity that can test your soil. They will tell you the ni­tro­gen, phos­pho­rus, potas­sium, ph, and or­ganic ma­te­rial lev­els so you’ll know if your ground needs soil amend­ments when you plant.

While you’re wait­ing for the re­sults, check the soil depth in your po­ten­tial plant­ing area, says Jim Bar­bori­nas, an In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Ar­bori­cul­ture cer­ti­fied ar­borist who runs Ur­ban Forestry Ser­vices in Mount Ver­non, Wash­ing­ton. “Dig at least 61 cm down, or use a soil probe, look­ing for clay and back­fill.” Yards in ur­ban spa­ces, he warns, are of­ten filled with gravel that will need to be re­placed. You can also al­le­vi­ate clay soil, says Hennessy, by back­fill­ing around the root ball with a mix of one part com­post to two parts ex­ist­ing soil.

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