garden trouble already

Wilmington, NC

Thank you to all who read this and any one who can give me advice.
I'm very new at gardening and unfortunately, I think my thumb is so dark brown that it's almost black. I bought several Salvia plants and some other plants called Estorias and planted them in a flower bed today. The problem is, for some reason I thought I was supposed to use potting soil in with the plants. My normal soil is very rocky and acidic so I dug up a good bit of my soil and replaced it with potting soil and organic plant food. I live in the southeast and the area of my yard that I planted my plants in gets full sun as required by both Salvias and Estorias. Will potting soil cause my plants to die since it's not the normal soil that is in the ground here? Thanks again...

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I have no idea what Estoria is--could the spelling possibly be off on that one? I don't think you'll necessarily run into problems with the potting soil, where you would run into a problem is if you have clay soil underneath the potting soil, then the water won't be able to drain away and it creates a "clay bathtub" which can make the roots rot. But if the soil underneath the potting soil drains well then they may be fine. Next time though if you're going to amend your soil with something (which is a good idea if your soil is poor), get some compost or soil conditioner instead of potting mix, and mix it in with your garden soil rather than just dumping it on top. It may not be a bad idea to go back and do that in this bed, in theory I don't think the potting mix will be a problem unless you have clay underneath, but I've never actually done it myself so there are no guarantees!

Ashland, OR(Zone 8a)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. I don't dig bags of potting soil into my soil, but if, for example, a potted plant dies, I'll go ahead and dump the soil into a bed and mix it in rather than just throwing it out. I've never run into an issue with this.

Next time you dig that bed (were your plants annuals, so that you could dig it in the fall or next spring, or perennials?) you could mix the potting soil in a little deeper and wider and blend it with regular soil, rather than having an area of pure potting soil. But even this season with pure potting soil, as long as you don't have a serious clay problem like ecrane mentions you'll probably be OK.


Edited to add: I've frequently heard that using unamended garden soil in a pot is a problem, because it will be too heavy and, er, cake up or something. But I haven't heard similar warnings about using potting soil in a garden bed.

This message was edited Apr 2, 2007 7:15 PM

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