Proper Soil Amendments are the Foundation of a Healthy Landscape

Published November 5th, 2014 in Blog, Tips | Comments Off on Proper Soil Amendments are the Foundation of a Healthy Landscape

soilSoil is the most important part of any thriving landscape. Every decent structure needs a solid foundation, and your lawns and plants are no exception. There are 4 critical factors in creating the ideal soil environment for your plants to thrive:

Minerals, comprised of sand, salts, and clays, are essential in nutrient rich soil. Air provides for plant respiration. Water contains dissolved mineral nutrients and microorganisms. Organic matter is comprised of plant and animal residues, usually in an advanced state of decomposition. It also includes the residues, and benefits, of soil dwellers, like earthworms, bacteria, and other microorganisms. An ideal soil contains channels that make it easy for these 4 elements to blend harmoniously. Soil that is too dense, or too compact, will create problems.

My soil is sandy

Sandy soils are, by their nature, hugely porous. This seems great, however, they are so porous, that this can cause water to not be retained in the soil, and consequently drain prematurely. This is bad for your plants. All those minerals and nutrients are draining away from your landscape. This can be remedied by the introduction of organic matter such as peat, aged manure, composted organic matter, etc.. The goal is to introduce a binding agent that is going to retain more water, retain more nutrients, and put less stress on your plants.

My soil is clay

Clay soils cover most of Douglas County Oregon and are incredibly dense. This makes them incredibly difficult to dig in and till. They also have a nasty habit of promoting root rot in plants, in wetter environments, since the water tends to pool up, creating sludgy soil conditions.

My soil is loam

Loam soils are ideal, since they are non-compacted and earthy. You can be sure that all the water, nutrients, and fertilizer, have ample avenues to get to your plants.

Should I use an amendment?

This really depends on your existing soil type and chemistry. Adding mulch isn’t really an amendment, unless it is in a very late stage of decomposition. Microbes don’t fare so well during the cold months, so adding amendments in the winter isn’t really a good idea. Adding too much, or too little, can also have undesirable effects on soil salinity. The goal of any amendment, is to bring optimum balance to your soil. There are organic and inorganic solutions to these issues. If you’re interested in what kind of condition your soil is in, give us a call for a free quote.

Category: Blog, Tips