Soils and Composting

How did dodder get in my flower garden?

Question: I’ve discovered dodder in the coreopsis in my flower garden. I am trying to stay ahead of a takeover by daily removal and sequester of cuttings. How did it get in my garden? Answer: Lynne Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional  Dodder is spread by a relatively heavy seed so it generally comes in […]

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Why did my cucumber plants not grow in a raised bed?

Question: I planted cucumber seeds in a raised bed 1 in early May and they did not come up. I was given some well established cucumber plants that I placed in the same raised bed and they nearly died within a week. I transplanted them to another raised bed and they are looking better… they […]

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Do I need to increase the copper and iron levels in my soil?

Question: Last year I had a soil test done through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The copper and iron levels were a bit low (copper=0.10/ iron-2.7). Do I need to increase these levels? How would I do that? I’ve read that the soil pH level affects uptake of these micronutrients. My soil pH is […]

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Does the University of Maine Cooperative Extension test soil?

Question: Does the University of Maine Cooperative Extension test soil?  Answer: Jonathan Foster, Special Project Assistant We do indeed perform soil testing, via the UMaine Analytical Laboratory. You can pick up a soil test kit from the any County Extension office or request one directly from the lab (information on their website). That standard soil test fee […]

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What is the best way to plant shadblow bushes in clay conditions?

Question: I recently purchased two shadblow bushes (Amelanchier canadensis). We have very heavy marine clay on our property. I often amend with lots of compost/rich soil, but recently I am hearing more and more about how too much compost can create conditions where the roots just stay in the soil-rich area. Approximately how much compost/rich […]

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Does soil matter to native plants?

Question:  Does soil matter to native plants? Answer: Jonathan Foster, Community Education Assistant As explained in our UMaine resource, Soil and Plant Nutrition: A Gardener’s Perspective, soil is a critical resource for all plant life, providing plants with anchorage, water, and critical minerals and nutrients, among other things. So, in that sense, soil is just as […]

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