Soil recommendations new shade fern area

mcec(8)August 2, 2006

Hi. Its been a looong time since I even logged in to GW. I have a new teaching career, two tween aged daughters and life in general.

However: I need advice: What is a good soil composition for shade fern areas. (sand, soil, compost, whatever)

I have an area under my north facing deck that I want to convert to a fern area. I placed two sword ferns there last fall (gleened from construction sites) One is dead and One is great!! This past week I started to shape and supplement the soil: added a load of sand and half as much composting material from my cold pile and a couple of bags from Home depot.

What is current opinion about soil composition for shade ferns?? Cecile, Portland Oregon.

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Each species of fern has different requirements regarding is soil. Unless you want nothing but sword ferns under your deck I would keep an eye on it. Sword fern, Nepholepis(sp) will overpower anything else you plant there. First ensure good drainage. Take a bucket full of existing soil to a good nursery. Not Home Depot or the sort or a garden club and let someone with experiance look at it. My soil has a lot of clay in it, so I add coarse sand and peat moss. In areas where I'm growing Adiantum or Pteris I add crushed limestone. And I add Ironite.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Thanks. I will get my soil looked at..... I love sword ferns though they are VERY large and tough. My usual approach is to research a bit, then try what works, then work around what works.

Again thanks for the response. Cecile

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 11:40PM
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