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Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae) growing as a potted porch plant

the soil and accumulate in the food or medicine being grown. Soil and Drainage Considerations Drainage is a big issue in container culture as soil compaction more easily occurs. Add a 12-inch layer of criss-crossed sticks to the bottom of larger pots before adding soil and elevate the container from its saucer or the ground with bricks or large rocks. Typically garden soil or topsoil is too heavy for container culture, it can be used with amendments such as pine bark fines, composted leaf mold, aged fluffy manure, and worm castings. Pine bark fines are the ground-up bark of pines and are a byproduct of the pulp and lumber pine industry; they offer porosity and water retention and have a neutral pH (did I just say heaven, or what?). Three parts pine bark fines, one part composted manure, and a touch of lime, organic fertilizer, mycorrhizal inoculant and worm castings makes a wonderful all-purpose soil

Container-grown Ma huang (Ephedra sinica) strobili (seed-bearing reproductive structures)

mix for containers. Please see the previous notes about amending soil mixes to meet a specific plant’s requirements. It is possible to reuse soil for multiples seasons. I take out the top fourth of soil, compost it, and mix in compost, worm castings and a touch of lime to the remaining soil. This annual treatment usually spruces up the soil sufficiently for it to be used for two to three seasons. May your gardens be bountiful, beautiful and healing!

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