Monday, April 14

What a difference the soil makes.

Most vegetable gardeners are familiar with the practice of adding lime to soil to increase the alkalinity in areas where they are intending to grow brassicas.

Wallflowers belong to the brassica family. I planted wallflowers on the plot last year in two different places which show how the plants react to differences in the soil.

The main planting was in a bed that had been used for brassicas. The plants here are strong and bushy .
Interestingly there seems to be no above ground signs of club-root.

I planted a few plants in the bed that houses our blueberry bushes. This is by the sitting area and I fancied being immersed in perfume as we sat having a coffee break. As blueberries are acid lovers we made an effort to increase the acid level of this bed and the plants are watered with a fertiliser specifically for acid loving plants. 

I didn't expect the wallflowers to like the conditions but thought it was worth a try.  What a difference these plants look like this.
One positive is that they do still give off a perfume but the poor things don't seem very happy. If we want some perfume in this area next year, I will have to try planting in a tub.

It does show clearly that if you want your brassicas to thrive you need to avoid acid soil conditions.

24 comments:

  1. I never knew that about wallflowers you know. I like the mixture of colours you have there. I've just looked at mine & realised I only have the yellow ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So was it a packets of mixed seeds? Maybe all the other colours are still in the packet :-{

      Delete
  2. I have soil on the acid side of neutral and I do struggle with brassicas. Sprouts seem just about OK but broccoli is pretty hopeless. We'll see how Kale does this year. I haven't added lime yet, but I think it's time I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brassicas will benefit from an application or garden lime (not builder's stuff).

      Delete
  3. That's an amazing difference. The ones in the limed bed are fabulous though, I bet the bees are loving them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't actually lime the soil, Jo. It's the blueberry bed that has had its acidity raised - must have worked.

      Delete
  4. That's a really big difference. I don't pay attention to our soil alkalinity because our bigger problem is too much sun and shade. But my wallflowers grow like mad :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's only where plants need a particular soil that I take any notice , Leanan

      Delete
  5. I usually use burned rice shells or wood ash from stove to increase alkalinity. It will also make the soil more porous. The wallflowers look so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting , Endah I've never come across adding burning rice to soil.

      Delete
  6. That's interesting, I didn't know that wallflowers need acidity either. I've never tried growing them, they always seem a bit of a mystery to me. But I do see bunches of plants at the greengrocer's from time to time, they are very traditional. I really like them, so I ought to give them a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's acidity that they don't like, C J

      Delete
  7. Nice to see the colours of Wall flowers but be careful near veggies they can spread club root rather well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes It's something we are being careful with Rooko but these should be OK as we grew them from seed rather than bought on plants.

      Delete
  8. Goodness you can really see the difference there. es, worth enhancing the soil....says she sneaking off to enhance hers!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both beds are 'enhanced', Snowbird it's the PH that is different.

      Delete
  9. That's very big differences!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sue, how do you increase the acidity? Ihave few blueberry bushes and would like to help them to grow better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ericaceous compost was added to the bed, Aga and I also filled the blueberry planting holes with it. Since then I have regularly watered with a feed that contained sequestrene,

      Delete
  11. What a great demonstration Sue. I have slightly alkali soil, which is a weird change for me, I am still adjusting to not being able to grow things like azaleas well, but am looking forward to thriving wallflowers, I love the scent and long flowering period, and of course they are brilliant for the pollinators.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Azaleas in tubs, Janet ot do yu want to be plant appropriate?

      Delete
    2. If I was desperate for azaleas or some other acid lovers - I could certainly do that Sue but I am trying to minimize the number of pots I have at the moment, time enough for that once the garden is more under control!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.