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Home & Garden Give Your Garden a Boost with This Guide to Soil Amendments

12:11  24 june  2021
12:11  24 june  2021 Source:   bobvila.com

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The best time to amend garden soil is when you're first establishing a garden bed. In an existing garden , soil amendments typically are an ongoing task, even if it's as simple as digging in some compost prior to each year's plantings. If your plants are growing well, there's usually no need to touch the soil . Plus, in all soils it encourages beneficial microbial activity and provides nutritional benefits. Common forms of organic material to amend garden soil include: Compost: Compost makes an excellent amendment , and it's free if you're composting your garden waste and kitchen scraps.

Give Your Garden a Boost with This Guide to Soil Amendments . The most important part of gardening is building up and managing healthy soil . Rarely is native soil ideal for the plants we want to grow in our landscapes and gardens , so we add things to improve it. Soil amendments can convert poor soil into soil promoting a productive garden by improving drainage, water-holding capacity, aeration, nutrient-buffering ability, beneficial microbe levels, and more.

a close up of a flower garden: soil amendments soil amendments istockphoto.com

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A soil amendment is something you add to the soil to improve its physical properties. You can’t always depend on Mother Nature to give your plants what they need and soil mixes from the garden center may be missing some things. The third option is a combination of amendments that gives both a quick boost and long-lasting results. Most of the products we chose can be used in conjunction with one another.

Generally, ashes are good for garden soil , but it very much depends on where the ashes come from. You should not use charcoal ashes in your garden as the charcoal is usually treated with chemicals and lighter fluid that are not good for your soil . Whether harvested fresh from the beach, composted, or dried and ground into a powder (sold as kelp meal), seaweed makes an excellent additive to soil adding nutrients as well as improving texture, water retention, and aeration in your garden . Seaweed also encourages the growth of beneficial microbes and when used as a mulch can deter pests and

The most important part of gardening is building up and managing healthy soil. Rarely is native soil ideal for the plants we want to grow in our landscapes and gardens, so we add things to improve it. Soil amendments can convert poor soil into soil promoting a productive garden by improving drainage, water-holding capacity, aeration, nutrient-buffering ability, beneficial microbe levels, and more.

Soil amendments include a huge variety of organic and inorganic materials such as compost, mulch, perlite, and sand. Each kind offers a unique range of benefits that improve the structure, biology, or chemistry of the soil, which in turn leads to a better growing environment for plants. Ahead, learn how and why to use easy-to-find soil amendments.

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Soil amendments can improve your garden and better support plant life. Here are a few easy ways to help your garden grow with soil amendments . Adding soil amendments can improve your soil no matter what type of soil you have. It can solve the problem of, for example, an overly sandy soil that does not retain enough water, or an overly clayey soil that, on the contrary, retains too much moisture. You should also be amending the soil right along as part of a garden 's preventive care regimen, even in the absence of known problems.

Soil is the foundation of providing and storing nutrition for plants and even human life. Give your plants a healthy start by building soil health. Watch below! The lab will continue to dry the soil overnight and then ground or pulverize the sample. Types of testing will be conducted based on your request. A report and sometimes soil amendment suggestions are compiled, depending on the university. The results are mailed or made available online to the home gardener .

Wood Chips

Wood chips come from tree trunks, limbs, and branches about 12 inches in diameter and smaller. They should be allowed to age before using them in the garden. As the material sits for at least 6 months, beneficial organisms colonize it and begin the slow process of turning it into soil. Earthworms thrive in gardens with wood chips.

Mulch the soil surface with wood chips in a 2- to 4-inch layer around established plants. You often can get a free truckload of wood chips delivered from most tree-pruning and removal companies.

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Grass Clippings and Leaves

Use these two lawn waste items independently or together. For passive soil improvement, use a mower with a mulching deck to mow the lawn. A thin layer of mulched leaves returns nutrients to the soil and helps to conserve water. Mulched leaves boost the soil’s carbon content and improve the ground for earthworms and other beneficial soil dwellers.

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Soil 's the foundation for any garden . Healthy soil yields healthy & happy plants. These organic materials can also often act as soil fertilizers, in varying degrees. With an understanding of the needs of your soil , you’ll be able to determine what is needed to bring it up to meet the needs of the plants that you are going to be focused on growing. This in-depth guide to soil amendments will help you to better understand what your soil might need, so that you can get the growing results that your plants deserve.

All gardens benefit from regular additions of soil amendments and soil nutrients. Most soils do not provide ideal growing conditions for all plants right away. A soil amendment is a material added to soil to improve its physical nature. For example, some soils drain poorly. Others are too tightly compacted, so vital nutrients don't reach plant The following materials help improve soil 's fertility and its capacity to hold or drain moisture, depending on your needs. Editor's Tip: Excercise caution when working with powdery minerals. Do not breathe the dust, and avoid working with these substances on windy days.

To improve a garden bed, mix one part fresh grass clippings with two parts dry, shredded leaves. Apply the mixture in a 6-inch layer on an empty garden bed to improve the soil over winter.

a close up of a dry grass field: soil amendments guide © Provided by Bob Vila soil amendments guide istockphoto.com

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Bone Meal

Bone meal is a traditional organic fertilizer that boosts a soil’s phosphorus level. It is available anywhere that gardening supplies are sold. Before adding bone meal and other fertilizers, it is best to perform a soil test to ensure that the soil needs this nutrient. Plants use phosphorus to grow roots, flowers, and fruit. Apply bone meal at the beginning of the growing season for season-long plant nourishment.

Biosolids

Biosolids are organic solids from wastewater treatment facilities.The material is stabilized by anaerobic digestion and composting to eliminate potentially dangerous pathogens, then packaged as commercial fertilizer. These fertilizers have been used in American agriculture, golf courses, and home gardening for more than a century. In addition to the added nutrients, this material boosts the levels of beneficial microbes and organic matter content of the soil.

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Wood Ash

If you burn firewood in a wood stove or fireplace, the garden is a good place to dispose of the ash. Wood ash can replace lime to raise the soil pH. It also boosts the levels of potassium and many of the trace elements that plants need.

A little goes a long way and you can harm soil if you add too much at once. Scatter wood ash fertilizer over the garden at about 20 pounds (5 gallons) per 1,000 square feet. Or, sprinkle some on the compost pile every time you add new waste.

a pot with food in it: soil amendments wood ash © Provided by Bob Vila soil amendments wood ash istockphoto.com

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Compost

Whether you make your own or buy it from a store, compost is one of the most familiar and beneficial soil amendments. Companies and home gardeners make compost from virtually any organic material— from weeds and veggie scraps to cardboard and sewage sludge—so quality, texture, and nutrient loads vary significantly.

Till compost into the soil before planting. Add it as mulch on the soil surface after planting, or brew it into compost tea for foliar feeding.

a pile of dirt: soil amendments compost © Provided by Bob Vila soil amendments compost istockphoto.com

Paper/Cardboard

With the massive growth in online ordering, it’s great to know there is a way to use some of that packing material in the garden. Paper or cardboard can work as biodegradable weed barriers by simply layering it on the garden bed and covering it with 4 to 6 inches of wood chips or other organic materials. You also can shred paper or cardboard to add to the compost pile as a carbon source.

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