Choosing The Best Garden Soil

Choosing The Best Garden Soil

Few of us have ideal garden soil however there are easy ways to improve what you do have. Adding in soil amendments and soil fertilizers will improve the structure and texture of your soil and provide usable nutrients for your garden plants. The optimum garden soil depends largely on what you plan to grow. The pH, which is the measure of acidity or alkalinity, of the soil affects how well nutrients are absorbed by the plant roots. Most plants do best with a pH of 7, or a neutral pH. Most soils are between 5 (acidic) and 8 (alkaline) pH. The predominant texture and the pH will tell you what you should add to your soil. It is not always necessary to amend your soil, but adding organic material, like grass clippings, decayed leaves, compost, or manure, can improve the nutrients in the soil. Adding 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of organic material each year can make a big difference. Compost is the most common additive and you may be able to get it from your city’s Public Works Department. Composted manure or hummus can also be good additives for soil. Peat moss can be good for sandy soils, but some gardeners are concerned about the sustainability of peat moss harvesting.

If your pH is very low or high, you might consider adding limestone or sulfur to change the soil chemistry. Limestone will raise the pH from 5 to around 6.5. Sulfur will lower the pH from around 8.5 to 6.5. Keep in mind that if you add garden organic material like manure, it may gradually affect your soil’s pH. You may need to retest your soil if you are not getting the results you want.

Backyard Garden With Black Soil

Getting to know the soil before choosing plants or planting them is the first step in growing a successful garden.

Backyard Garden With Black Soil

Vegetable Backyard Garden With Soil

Understanding the type of soil, texture of soil, rate of drainage and soil pH can help you grow garden and landscape plants.

Vegetable Backyard Garden With Soil

Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

Maintaining the right kind of garden soil will make it easier to grow healthy, beautiful plants.

Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

Outdoor Potager Garden With Soil

The texture of the soil refers to the size and feel of the soil particles - their effectiveness can be estimated by their cohesive abilities.

Outdoor Potager Garden With Soil

Square Raised Vegetable Garden

The texture of the soil in key to how effective it will be for you plants. There is a fertility combination for soil that includes plenty of essential nutrients and a pH balance that makes these essential nutrients available to feed the plants.

Square Raised Vegetable Garden

Rectangle Raised Bed With Soil

If you want to have your soil checked out, know that soil is generally tested to evaluate the fertility and texture.

Rectangle Raised Bed With Soil

Outdoor Garden With Soil And Plants

Adding organic matter to your garden soil will add bulk which is needed for sandy soil, or will help with drainage if you have clay soil.

Outdoor Garden With Soil And Plants
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