Building soil from scratch

Even coconut palms require supplemental nutrients and water when growing on our young volcanic “soils”. Before planting, be sure to build sufficient growing medium with rotted compost and cinder mixes along with a balanced fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, secondary and trace elements. (Voltaire Moise/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The young soils of our island vary from ash deposits to a’a and pahoehoe lava. There are a few exceptions where volcanic materials have had the time to decompose like the Kohala Mountain region, but it is hard to find soils as they are defined on older continents of the world. Most folks here have to start from scratch.