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Limestone soil: which plants to choose?

Limestone soil: which plants to choose?


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The calcareous soil often upsets amateur gardeners because it is not suitable for all plants. To find out what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of soil and which plants can thrive easily in calcareous soil, we asked our favorite garden specialist: Charly de Jardiland.

Is having calcareous soil in your garden an obstacle to gardening?

Contrary to popular belief, limestone soil is not poor soil. So rest assured: you can grow all kinds of plants in calcareous soil. And rather than modify it, choose perfectly adapted plants. It is the best way to respect nature and accept it as it is. Be aware that this whitish and sticky earth because of the clay it contains can be made of a third of carbonate of lime. However, it is fertile. As proof, white clover and poppies grow there without difficulty and quite spontaneously.

What are the peculiarities of a limestone soil?

A limestone soil is recognizable by the abundance of stones. And even if you compel yourself to rake your land regularly to extract a maximum, the stones always end up rising to the surface. The calcareous soil is chalky and crumbles easily when dry. This can be discouraging during the summer or, in some years, when there is insufficient rain in the spring or fall. In winter, frost tends to penetrate more easily into calcareous soil: we therefore avoid growing frost plants. However, calcareous soil still has major advantages: it is very permeable to water, organic matter decomposes there easily and it assimilates fertilizers well.

We are indeed reassured! What are the plants to plant in calcareous soil?

For an orchard, choose - depending on the climate in your region - the vine, the olive, the plum, the walnut, the mulberry and the hazel. A vegetable garden with limestone soil will easily welcome lettuce, potato, cabbage, radish, eggplant, shallot or even tomato and carrot. Enough to enjoy garden products in all seasons.

In a pleasure garden, what trees and shrubs for limestone soil can we plant?

You can arrange a shaded corner by combining birch, lime, hornbeam, poplar and Judas tree, taking into account of course the space you have. Some shrubs will find their place there like lilac, buddleia, forsythia, syringat and clematis. They will enchant your natural corner with their lush and colorful flowering.

What do you recommend for flowering the borders and beds of limestone soil?

There too, you have a fairly rich choice which will allow you to admire the flowering from spring until frost. Don't hesitate to plant carnation, columbine, primrose, peony, anemone or even the heart of Mary in your calcareous soil, which is more scientifically called Dicentra spectabilis. You will quickly notice that in terms of gardening, everything is possible even in calcareous soil.



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