I finally got to the bottom of my Planter Box Failure. In a word, Topsoil. All dirt is not created equal.
I ordered planting mix from a local supplier, but they delivered topsoil instead. The otherwise healthy plants weren’t thriving and I couldn’t figure out why. In the end, it comes down to the basics: sun, water, soil. The soil delivered was far too heavy and ill-suited for my needs.
The supplier offered a refund, but they can’t or won’t pick up the unwanted dirt.
Freecycle to the Rescue!
One of my readers suggested I offer the soil on Freecycle. I posted the offer last night and woke up to half a dozen emails. Wow!
The soil is going to one or two good homes and the emptied planter box will soon be mine. It’s late in the season to start over, but I’m going to plant a bag of flowers seeds I have on hand and see what grows.
Meanwhile, I had to scramble to transplant the surviving plants. I filled in some bare spots in the triangle at the corner of the lawn. I pulled four spent sunflowers which gave me room to transplant the status. I transplanted snapdragons and several cosmos that were struggling to establish. The roots of the plants hadn’t spread at all. They’ll do so much better now in their new fertile soil. The one plant that seemed to be taking hold in the box was the chocolate mint. Each plant sent out foot long runners beneath the soil and were really taking hold. The mint will go back into the new and improved planter box, but for now they’re resting in a few plastic pots along the walkway wall.
What seemed daunting last week now feels like an adventure. I love planting, so enjoyed ‘rearranging’ the plants. I’m happy the mint is doing well and can replant accordingly. Most of all, it feels great to find a home for all that dirt.