- Author: Leonard Cicerello
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Leonard Cicerello UCCE Master Gardener
I have lousy soil, but I want to learn how to garden. Deb, Los Osos
The UC Master Gardeners Advice to Grow By workshop this month will be outstanding for beginning and experienced gardeners. Master Gardeners will cover the preparation of your planting site, no matter what you intend to plant.
The workshop will begin by discussing soil types and the characteristics of different soils. Each type of soil influences irrigation differently. Your fertilizing regimen will also differ with each type of soil. Since the microorganisms in your soil are important, you will learn how you to encourage and maintain them.
Most soils can be improved with amendments. Amendments typically consist of organic matter that's mix into the soil periodically. Amendments help to distribute water more evenly, stimulate root growth, and add to the overall health of your plants. As the amendments break down, we replenish them.
The workshop will also discuss composting, one of the most satisfying tasks in the garden. Compost pile are composed of garden waste, kitchen waste, and a little soil and water. Compost piles can be stored on the ground, in a large bin, or in a plastic barrel. Add some water and turn the pile. Mix everything well to distribute the heat that is created. The heat breaks everything down to create the magic compost.
The third portion of the workshop will focus on fertilizing, which involves soil testing for nutrient deficiencies and PH. Participants will learn about different fertilizers, and how and when to fertilize.
To learn more about soils, composting, amending, and fertilizing, join us at the UC Master Gardener Advice to Grow By workshop on Saturday, October 19 at the Garden of the Seven Sister, at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, 10:00 am to noon. We will meet in the auditorium. Garden docents will be available after the workshop until 1:00 p.m.