I stumbled upon her a while back, on Facebook, I think. I really like her style and enthusiasm. Sure wish her growing conditions were a little more like mine. But they are pretty austere in many ways. (Much like yours, Steve) I shouldn't complain about mine.
Did you sign up for her newsletter?
I found Susan's website awhile ago after reading her column in the Spokane paper.
If I understand right, she has no rocks in her soil. That means, she is in the Palouse Hills or Peone Prairie or somewhere with windblown, loess soil. Honestly, I think that is half of my soil. The other half is, of course, the gravel. @Glenpicardmom said rocks and sand, I believe. Along what must have been the shoreline or where the water slowed during the glacial flooding, lots of sand was deposited.
The floods moved boulders but it didn't result in terrible soil everywhere. Pulverized basalt isn't a terrible thing. Where the wind could lift it, the result was "scabland." Where the dust was deposited, are dryland grain farms, even some fruit orchards, where water can get to it.
I was down in Oregon's Multnomah Valley for Christmas. The soil of that very fertile farmland is there partly because of those prehistoric floods carrying soil up that valley as the water slowed, stymied by the Coastal Mountains and escape to the Pacific.
I think figuring out how a certain area has the terrain and soil that it has, is fascinating. We have an area here that is loose gravel on top of pretty high hills. People haven't been able to figure out that one yet, considering the chain of events that the surrounding terrain has experienced. The glaciers didn't get down as far as SE Missouri, so that can't be blamed directly.
I have not read any of her columns or checked out her website, going to have to look into it. I do listen to gardener joes podcasts at work from time to time. Her place is on a well so she prolly isn’t in the city limits , looks a lot like south hill burbs like the Valley Chapel rd. area, or where you mentioned are good guesses also. I had some extra time one day in the fall and cut down all the black eyed Susan’s and other per