Week 2

Itinerario de Semana Dos 
Suelos y Nutricion de las Plantas

  • Hablamos de las plantas un rato
  • Descanso
  • Tiempo en el jardín; hablar con su grupo de ideas para su jardín. (La próxima semana van a aprender mas de diseño.)  Elegir cual planta, de esas plantas que tenemos hoy, que su grupo quiere plantar esta tarde.
  • Suelos
  • La compactación del suelo en las obras afecta a las raíces  Soil Compaction and Roots (3 pp.) (99KB pdf)
  • Viven del Aire  Living in Air (1 pp.) (65KB pdf)


 Master of Gardens / Maestro del Jardin

[Commercial Audience]

Gardeners of Costa Rica /  Jardineros de Costa Rica

[Community Audience]

(Same basic outlines for both classes)

1 Why Soils Are Important to Plants

  • Physical and Chemical characteristics

2 Different Soil Types and Effect on Plant Growth

  • Outdoor activity looking at various soils and their physical characteristics

3 Soil Amendments

  • How and Why?
  • Outdoor activity –  mixing soil amendments in an area

4  Making Compost

  • What materials to use
  • How to make and maintain
  • Outdoor activity making a compost pile

5  Mulches

  • Benefits,  What to use,  How to apply,  Precautions

6  Planting a Plant

  • The hole
  • Depth of planting
  • Planting on a slope
  • Mulch
  • Watering
  • Micro-irrigation – placement of emitters
  • Problems of overhead irrigation on new plants
  • Hand-watering

Discussion on Ornamentals to be Planted today

Outdoor Exercise in the Garden

  • Planting shrubs and trees
  • Mulching
  • Installing a simple micro-irrigation system


7  Plant Nutrition

  • Major nutrients,  Secondary nutrients,  Micro-nutrients

8  Soil-Testing

  • Typical soil test results for the area
  • Typical fertilizers to use for the area
  • How to soil test
  • Soil test interpretation and selecting a fertilizer

9  Fertilizing

  • What
  • How much
  • How to apply
  • Spreader calibration basics

Outdoor Exercise in the Garden/Lawn

  • Calibrating a lawn spreader
  • Fertilizing shrubs
  • Fertilizing trees
  • Fertilizer bedding plants

Spreading Fertilizer Spreading FertilizerDavid Marshal Teaching on Fertilizer



David Marshall demonstrates how to weigh fertilizer, make settings on the spreader, and then apply a known weight of nutrients to a test plot – the steps in calibrating a Fertilizer spreader.  Photos: Linda Seals, UF/IFAS

Equipment and Supplies needed  

  • At least 6-8 pointed shovels for planting
  • Various types of soil amendments
  • Various materials to use in a compost pile (leaves, vegetable and fruit waste, etc.)
  • Shrubs and trees, gallon sizes and 3 gallon sizes
  • Bedding plants
  • Micro-irrigation components for a simple system that will attach to a spigot
  • Buckets
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pitchforks
  • Mulch material
  • Bags of common fertilizers
  • Scales for weighing fertilizer in a bucket
  • Two cyclone (rotary) lawn spreaders
  • Two hand-held spreaders for applying fertilizer to beds
  • Soil Test Sample materials from EARTH, information and instruction sheets
  • Steel rakes
  • Water hose (long enough to reach from spigot to garden area being planted) and breaker for end

 David’s Handouts in Spanish /   in Adobe pdf

Other references: