Clay loam?

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Elmigo
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Clay loam?

Postby Elmigo » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:56 pm

Some of you may have noticed that I'm a tropical fruit fanatic. Unfortunately I'm not a tropical climate fanatic and the area I live in is also far from tropical. This does not stop me from trying a few things here and there, just for fun.

The other day I succesfully germinated a star fruit seed! This is amazing, soon I will own a carambola tree! Now I just need clay loam. Right, so what is this even made of? The local garden stores don't sell clay, just a lot of regular and even tropical soil types but no clay. Carambola loves clay loam.

Where do you get (or how do you create) clay loam? What is this stuff even made of, aside from clay?
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Westi
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Westi » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:56 pm

Not sure you can buy it, most folk are too busy trying to get rid of it - or rather improve it. You may have to be cheeky & look & see what neighbours have & beg a bag full. They will probably be happy to be rid of a bit, otherwise watch the building sites & do the same.
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Geoff
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Geoff » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:28 pm

Clay loam is just good garden soil, perhaps a little on the heavy side. If all else fails can you buy soil based potting compost in Holland, it is called John Innes (No. 3 for a tree) in the UK but obviously will have a different name there (John Innes is a UK horticultural research institute).
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Elmigo
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Elmigo » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:52 pm

Geoff wrote:Clay loam is just good garden...


Awesome! I think I can ask some neighbours or buy it there... Is it possible to make clay loam myself using raw dirt found in the wild and some high nutrient soil, or something similar? Or is this not what clay loam is? Would that give me a too high risk of carrying diseases to my tropical tree? Also, it has to be well draining too. Most clay I find outside is not really well draining, rather the opposite.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:14 am

If you can buy a soil based compost, it should be sterilized.....I think I would try this if you can get it, as you don't really know what a Tropical tree could be susceptible to....
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Elmigo
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Elmigo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:20 am

Asked some neighbours and I was handed this stuff. They said they don't know what it is but they got it from somewhere trees were being planted. Large dry lumps of what feels like sand/dirt are hard to break. It also contain a lot of sea shells. When you make it wet it turns into soft mud and the lumps fall apart completely. Also, there's some land available for growing food and it's full of this stuff.

Now I'm terrified to use the wrong soil and kill some plants or make them sick. Can anyone tell if this gets close to clay loam or whether this is good for planting a tropical tree in or not?

How do people test their soils?

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Westi
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Westi » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Soz! Can't help with that, but dry clay is like concrete but when wet it should hold together in a ball or a squished hand shape. Don't be deceived by the shells, but you could research a bit more about the PH of the clay soil your plants need & test this when wet for re-assurance.

A question springs to mind why did they have this? Don't ignore the land for growing either, if it's available & your patient any land is growable, whether deep raised beds or just in the soil for the more tropical of your charges with adequate protection or be patient & improve a patch. The trees themselves will be a bigger problem with light & stealing moisture & making it a bit too acidic.

Go & have a look with your head & available time ruling.
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Elmigo
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Re: Clay loam?

Postby Elmigo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:26 pm

They were also given this soil, it was left over from somebody who planted trees on their land. Nobody knows what it is exactly. I was told it's "just dirt" but it looks like it's more than just that. I figured if they planted trees in this matter it may as well be suitable for other plants. Not sure if there's nutrients in there but it looks like all kinds of stuff are in it such as sea shells. Won't ignore the land but the trees around it make it a very shaded area, not so good for the more sun loving plants or tropicals.
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