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Soil for a tropical bed

Posted by earthworm73 WA z8b (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 23, 12 at 12:28

I posted this on the tropicals board with no bites. Thought I would try here. The wife and I are going to have a walled raised bed put in. The walls will be about 14-18 (+/-)inches tall. I am wondering what kinda soil we should fill it with. My options are straight up compost, topsoil or a combo of the two? I will also add a small amount of homemade compost that is supercharged with horse manure, fish remains and seaweed along with your standard home compost ingredients. Please give me your opinions.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

If you have access to well-rotted/finished compost, a mix of that with topsoil would probably work well. For many tropicals you want a moisture-retentive but well-drained soil with abundant nutrients for maximal growth and flowering (a number of tropicals like cannas are greedy feeders).


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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

I can not recommend using Milorganite in addition to lots of organic matter as you have planned to add to the raised beds. Tropicals are heavy feeders and adding a good 10-10-10 fertilizer will help you get massive growth that will make you feel like you are in the tropics.


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Milorganite

Ooops, I meant cannot recommed it ENOUGH....Milorganite that is....I have had the best growth especially in my tropical and cold hardy tropical beds.


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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

the virginian I used milorganite last year based on your recommendation. I used it on my lawn, my bananas and potted palms. My lawn loved it but I didn't really notice any dffrence one way or the other on all else. But we had an unseasonably cool summer last year and it is hard to tell if weather had a detrimental affect on the milorganite. I'll try it again this year.


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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

Hi all just joined a few days ago and just love this website. Just wanted to mention with seaweed be careful of the salt levels as that can harm the roots.

Scott


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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

here in vancouver WA my tropicals do best if i dig up allllll the clay and replace with a mix that is mostly peat with worm castings and some perlite... i have an oleander that loves it.


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RE: Soil for a tropical bed

As with any fertilizer used on tropicals, the warmer the better for results and if you had a cool summer they would not be able to use the Milorganite to have the supercharged growth. You will see better results if you have a nice warm rainy summer and let's hope we all get one. As far as soil amending, I would never remove the native soil as all you are doing is creating a TUB for the plant to spin its roots around itself once it hits the native soil. It won't happen right away and may take a few years, but the plant will get root bound when it can't penetrate the surrounding clay. Tropicals in my yard seem to love compost and leaf mould amended red clay.


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