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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Default Another stump question -- soil amendments

    We had two pine trees right near our house in a flower bed get totally mauled by our ice storm a year ago. We had them cut down and stumps ground. We tried planting some flowers where the ground stumps were. However, the ground up pine stumps/roots are in the soil and nothing much will grow. Is there anything I can add to the soil to help get the stump particles to decompose and/or add nutrients and/or get the soil ph back to something where plants can grow????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Start with dry molasses. It stimulates biological activity. What is you soil ph? Have you added any soil amendments or just planted flowers?
    Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked Hulk in the face. Now he hides in the forest and changed his name to Shrek

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    Lynchburg, VA
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    When I rented a grinder, I made sure I ran the machine out into the soil enough that the resulting mixture would be at least 70 percent soil with 30 percent being chips. I sowed grass on this and it worked fine.

    But, a couple of years later I had a tree service remove a large white oak and grind the stump. This area would not grow grass well because there was not enough soil in the mixture. I removed about six inches of the mixture and replaced it with top soil and it now grows grass well.

    You might also try adding extra nitrogen to the area. This is the normal recommendation for assisting the decay of organic material. The decay of organic material robs nitrogen from the soil.
    From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Charles Koch

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Add lots of nitrogen......... cellulose requires a bunch
    as it decomposes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    Check the soil pH! Soil under evergreens can be significantly acidified by accumulated needle fall.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC
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    264

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    shovel out the stump grinding chips....then ammend with compost...

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default

    Try working some agricultural lime into the area, it will sweeten the soil and neutralize some of that acid build up.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    parker county, tx
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    High nitrogen amendments. You might even consider adding high nitrogen fertilizer, at least for now. Sawdust in the soil binds up the nitrogen.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    6,985

    Default

    neilv writes:
    We had two pine trees

    pine trees are commonly associated with acidic soils. without soil amendments azeleas should do well in acidic soils. first amend the ph with agricultural line (calcium carbonate) or magnasium carbonate. if your soil type is tight (ie has a lot of clay) calcium carbonate has the effect to make the soil tigher (like a baked brick)... while magnesium carbonate will most time make a tight soil looser (more crumbly).

    a good natural source of nitrogen (usually at this point a soil sample has been taken and soil nutrients determined) is cotton seed meal (someone has reported to me that this will also discourge fire ants).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
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    I had dumped lime, manure and high nitrogen industrial-style fertilizer on there. But the plants just did not grow last year. I guess I'll dump some more on there.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
    I had dumped lime, manure and high nitrogen industrial-style fertilizer on there. But the plants just did not grow last year. I guess I'll dump some more on there.
    Could it be the gardener?

    You may want to do a raised bed there for the next season or two. Then once the soil improves spread out back to level.

    Asking here.

    Won't the high nitrogen fertilizers burn the flowers? Could that be the problem? I think there could be to much nitro in the soil. (for delicate flowers anyway)
    Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked Hulk in the face. Now he hides in the forest and changed his name to Shrek

  12. #12
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    Nov 2006
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    Derek wins for the best answer on the root of the problem (no pun intended).

    However, I suspect that the problem is no enough nitrogen and not enough lime. This is a bed next to my house and is surrounding by a driveway and a sidewalk, and it has the root balls of two 35 foot pine trees ground up in an area about 8 by 8 feet. I think what I'll do is get the soil tested this winter. They'll probably say nothing's growing there for another 5 years, but at least I'll no.

    Neil

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eastern Hanover, Virginia
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    361

    Default soil test

    you need a ph meter. that area will be constantly changing ph until all that wood decomposes. blood meal and lime will be the easiest and fastest cures for you. blood meal adds the nitrogen the wood needs to decompose, lime lowers the acidity all that organic matter is contributing, plus keeping it in a neutral zone will help speed decomposition.

    it's hard to make your soil do 2 jobs at once. 1st job is decomposing the wood, 2nd job is growing plants. the blood meal and lime and ph meter will let you do both jobs at once.


    also, for any fresh stumps you have, instead of grinding them down, you can buy gourmet mushroom spawn in a plug form that you can innoculate stumps with. but then you have to live with a stump for a couple years, but it can be a good trade off.
    -M@

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