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Gardening Success with Difficult Soils: Limestone, Alkaline Clay, and Caliche Soils Paperback – April 1, 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

One of the greatest frustrations to new gardeners or newcomers to any region is discovering that one's favorite plants refuse to thrive. All the gardening hints in the world don't seem to help when your soil is the consistency of adobe bricks. Ogden's book is especially appropriate for those living in the Southwestern United States, but there are plenty of other areas with difficult soils and harsh climates. He covers various methods of soil improvement, but more importantly, describes and specifies what plants prefer these conditions. There is no one-time treatment to cure a calcareous soil, but there are plenty of alkaline-tolerant plants available. Ogden advises on fruits and vegetables, trees, annuals, and biennial flowering plants, vines, ground covers, shade-loving plants, attracting wildlife, and even night-blooming plants for fragrant summer evenings. Recommended. (Illustrations not seen.)-- Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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"It's a rewarding read" (Scott Ogden)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878337415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878337415
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan Richter on March 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most practical, useful, and enjoyable book on gardening that someone in the Texas Hill Country could ever want! It's not as big or comprehensive as the Wasowskis' "Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region", but that's because it focuses on the challenges of gardening in these "difficult" (nice word!) soils that we live with. Ogden's observations and advice about dealing with our limestone and caliche, and his reality-based recommendations of plants to use and the ones to avoid, gave me hope, encouragement, and new ideas for making this corner of the world a more beautiful place! It's got some great color photos, too.
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Format: Paperback
Dry limestone based soils such as the Edwards Plateau area of Texas and other places in the southwest, provide a major challenge to gardening which is addessed in this book. In such areas many plants simply will not grow well. Trying to get them to do so is an exercise in frustration and general garden books can lead you far astray. This book is not about how to try to change your soil, high pH soils cannot be effectively acidified. The book is about plants, trees, shrubs and varieties that do well in dry calcarious soil conditions. It will save you a lot of time, money and frustration if you face these conditions. A great book, a gold mine of information.
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A must have garden book for all of us who struggle with plants that struggle with their soils. The book recommends the right ways of amending soils such as caliche and clays so that vegetables and plants can produce viable crops and beautiful flowers. A terrific book!
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I have clay soil and wanted to figure out what to do when setting up my first garden. I plan on ordering top soil for my vegetable garden but was able to learn what plants will go best in my flower beds.
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Living in central OK, I have a wealth of problem areas on the property, from loose, silty soil to hard, compacted red clay, with an underlying belt of hard caliche under it all. I bought the book to help me select the proper plants for the worst of these conditions, and I've been pleased with it. It's not a be-all and end-all solution, but few things are when faced with the challenges of growing in the Oklahoma climate and soil conditions. I'm a very experienced gardener (a certified CA Master Gardener) and all I can say is that it can be . . . challenging, at best.

All in all, I'm finding the book helpful and I'm glad I bought it. It's well written and easy to understand, and the sections are clearly defined. It does not take a Master Gardener to use it, but is suitable for all levels of experience.
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I live in New Mexico. All the information I have found on the web about caliche soils has advised me to "get rid of it". This is stuff from master gardener websites, including some local websites! I simply dont have the funds or the muscle to dig out my entire yard and replace it with purchased bagged soil. I stumbled on this book by accident and i'm very happy with my purchase. The pages are filled with text and pictures. There are many examples of gorgeous plants n in this book, in color. I'm confident that I will find something to grow in my yard.
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