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Bog soil consistency

Matt F
8 years ago

I got tired of my ligularia not growing more than a foot where they are planted so I decided to just build a full bog garden last week. I've got the liner in, and I dug down just

over two feet. I've back filled with 50% native soil (that's been amended for the past couple

of years) and added lots of compost, peat, pine bark fines and even some Turface MVP to ensure some oxygen stays at the root zone. I think I may have made one mistake and that was to begin filling with water before adding the dirt. I didn't fill it more than maybe 8" up, I just needed something to hold the liner in place. Well, as I kept adding the dirt and amendments, it kept a soupy consistency. I've got it all filled back up to the top and I've mixed it all in by hand. There are some spots that are just wet mud and a few spots around the edge that are still pretty soupy. I guess if I had to describe it, I'd call it a "quaky" bog.

Now, before I do anything else, I wanted to ask what others have done. Or what you would suggest I do in this situation. I've still got a week to let it sit before planting anything, mind. The first idea I had was to just get my feet in there and walk around, but I'm afraid of compacting it too much as some of the soil that went back in was clay. Should I worry about this? Second idea was the drainage holes. I had already planned on puncturing holes about six inches down the sides all the way around the bog so that the crowns of the ligularia wouldnt freeze solid in the winter time. I know some poke holes and some don't. What are your thoughts on holes? I've seen some people poke holes in the bottom but that doesn't make any freaking sense to me at all. You want it to hold water, so poking holes in the bottom just seems stupid.

So should I poke holes, stamp it down like a bunch of grapes, or both? Or do something else entirely?

Oh, and what should the consistency be anyway? I tried looking for pictures online of bog soil but couldn't find anything. I'm sure it shouldn't be soupy, but I don't think I've ever investigated what bog soil looks like up close. I'm assuming it's just wet dirt (mud).

Thanks in advance!