Neil Sperry’s tips to preparing a raised garden bed

I need help with my preparation raised bed gardens’ soil. Each January, I rototill. I need to break it open with a pick. I then rent a small tiller to make it loose enough for me to add composted topsoil (manure soil), red sand, old sawdust, and other ingredients. I also make a yard of compost. Is there anything better?

A: You’ve put in a lot to achieve your results. gardenReady. It looks amazing! I’ll try to help.

I will add 2 inches of sphagnum Peatmoss to my raised, along with 1 inch of finely crushed pine Bark Mulch, well rotted manure, compost, and decomposed soil. These are already in the soil. However, I recommend adding the pine bark mulch and peatmoss because they decompose slowly so that they have longer lasting beneficial effects.

Texas A&M University recommends using expanded shale instead of sand. I add 1 inch of it in tandem with the organic matter if I’m amending a clay soil (which I always am). I use a rotating rear-tine rotating rotation rototiller to mix it all. It can reach a depth up to 12 inches. I don’t know how practical that would be in your beds, but you might make it work by taking most of the tines off to give you better maneuverability.

Each time I rework soil, I add half the amount each material. However, I don’t add more expanded shale every time. It can last up five years.


This broccoli took a while to form heads before it blossomed. This could be because the broccoli was not planted at the right time. The best time is now Plant the varieties of broccoli that mature quickly in SouthTexas would be between August & September.

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????????????? Why would my broccoli, which took so long to form heads and go straight to the flowers?

A: It could be because you planted it too late. The planting dates for South Texas’ recommended varieties are from late August to mid September. If you have any of these types, you must have harvested them. gardenNow.

Your plant looks very healthy. These flower heads can also be removed and fertilized in February for growth.

The following: The bleeding heart vine is a wonderful thing. It has been fertilized and well-watered, and protected from freezing weather. The leaves are losing most of the color. The majority have fallen. What can we do?

A: Variegated Clerodendrum will be the name of your plant. It is a beautiful, tropical plant. It has suffered an actual freeze injury, or is currently suffering from chill injuries.

Many tropicals can’t handle temperatures much below 40 or 45 degrees. There are three examples: bougainvilleas, caladiums, and both. All three species start dropping leaves when temperatures drop below 45°F.

Other than putting the plant into a greenhouse, there isn’t much you can do at this point. It may be easier to start your plant in spring with a vigorous, new plant.

This bleeding heart could have suffered from freeze damage or is currently suffering chill injury.

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?????????? In September, I worked at the North Dakota Census Bureau. I saw milkweeds on the rural roads the day before my departure. I cut one, and placed it in my baggage. The bag was opened as you can see. These plants are possible to grow in Texas. They could attract monarch butterflies.

A: I can’t tell what species of milkweed you have from the photograph, but it certainly wouldn’t be difficult to plant the seeds into one of your flowerbeds in late March. Simply lightly rub the soil and place the seeds 1 inch below the surface. If you water them immediately, you’ll be able to see how the seeds germinate.

It is possible to recall the size of North Dakota’s plants, which will give you an idea of how much room you need in your home. bed. Yes, they will find the plants if the plants grow.

This bleeding heart has either suffered actual freeze damage or it is struggling with chill injury.

This bleeding heart might have suffered freeze damage, or is currently suffering from a chill injury.

Courtesy photo

??????? Why are my tangerine trees falling and why are their leaves turning a lighter color than usual?

A: That sounds like a plant that isn’t getting enough light. I’m assuming it’s in a pot and that you have moved it into protection from the winter cold. You can move it closer toward a sunny window or let the weather dictate.

????????????? I found your information on amaryllis a few months ago. Three years ago, I took the seeds from my amaryllis plants and planted them. I now have eleven plants which are all growing in 1-gallon pots. Some have large bulbs and others have small bulbs.

Do I take the plants out of the pots and put them in sawdust bags or lay the pots flat for six months? Do I trim some of the leaves? What time should I do it? They would be stunning.

A: I would start with larger bulbs. Let them grow all summer and into the autumn. Lay the pots sideways and allow them to dry for six weeks, starting in mid-September and ending in early October. This would simulate their dry season at sub-tropical homes.

Next, trim the dead leaves. Then plant them in fresh potting dirt. You can water them regularly to encourage new growth. The best bulbs will mature in a few months and start producing flower stalks.

Questions to Neil Sperry, Features Department, San Antonio Express News P.O. Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171. Box 2171 San Antonio TX 78297-2171. [email protected]

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Neil Sperry’s tips to preparing a raised garden bed

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