It’s always important to have good soil in your garden. You can use it to anchor shrubs, grass, vegetables, and trees. Remember that soil offers your plants the right support and nutrients required for them to survive and thrive for years. This is why it’s crucial to get the right soil in your gardening program. In most cases, soils need to be properly drained, so it needs to have a good mixture of clay, sand, silt, and organic matter.
It’s worth noting that organic matter is a necessary component if you desire to have robust and healthy soil. A soil with enough organic matter can look dark in color and may have a moist earthly smell. But for the soil that requires a bit of attention may look light in color and can be quite friable once you dig into it. Besides this, it can also be hard to separate it and tends to run through your fingers. This article discusses how to choose the right soil mix for your garden.
The top factors to consider when selecting the right soil mix
Unfortunately, many people don’t have gardens on river flats where you can find the best gardening soil. The good news is that there are many soil supplies on the market that offer a wide range of soil conditioners to make your soil grow healthy vegetables and plants. Because not all vegetables and plants may require different soil conditions, it means you have to treat various areas of your garden with different products to get the best growing medium for your vegetables and plants.
There are also many things that you need to figure out to get the right soil mix to use in your yard. You need to decide whether you intend to grow exotic trees and shrubs or native trees and shrubs. Also, you can choose to purchase the soil for growing vegetables or even for growing specific feature plants like camellias or azaleas.
You should note that plants may have different requirements suitable for them to grow healthily and happily. Hence, you can only get the desired results when it comes to performance and growth when you start thinking about what you desire to do for the garden. Before you decide to purchase soil for your garden, you should take note of the following soil types:
Clay soil can feel lumpy and is even rock hard when dry and sticky when it’s wet. Clay soil tends to have few air spaces and is poor at draining. This soil is heavy to cultivate and warms slowly in spring. But if you improve its drainage, the plants can develop and grow quite well because it’s rich in nutrients.
Clay soil is suitable for shrubs and perennials. On the other hand, it can be hard to grow soft berry crops and early vegetable crops in this soil because of its compact and cool nature. Fruit trees, shrubs, summer crop vegetables, and ornamental plants tend to thrive in clay soil.
When it comes to sandy soil, it usually feels gritty. This soil dries easily and dries out quickly. Sandy soil is easy to cultivate and it warms up quickly in spring. However, sandy soil keeps fewer nutrients because they are usually washed away when it’s wet.
The soil needs organic replenishment like green sand, glacial rock dust, and other blends of organic fertilizer. It can also benefit from mulching so that it can retain moisture. Sandy soil is ideal for shrubs and bulbs like tree mallow, hibiscus, and tulips. Also, vegetable root crops, such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips can do well in this soil.
Silty soil can feel soapy and soft, and it also holds moisture. This soil has a lot of nutrients and can be easily cultivated and compacted. This can be good for your garden, especially if you can provide and manage drainage. You can choose to mix it with composted organic matter to improve structure and drainage.
You can grow climbers, shrubs, perennials, and grasses in silty soil. Also, trees that love moisture like dogwood, cypress, and willow can do well in this soil. Even better, most fruit crops and vegetables do well in silty soils because they have enough drainage.
With peaty soil, it’s usually darker and can feel spongy and damp because it has a lot of peat. This soil is acidic, so it can slow down decomposition leading it to have fewer nutrients. It also heats up fast in spring and retains lots of water that requires drainage. Therefore, you may need to dig drainage channels for soils with a lot of peat.
You should remember that peat soil is good for growth if you blend it with rich organic matter, lime, and compost. You can also raise its pH by mixing it with glacial rock dust. You can grow shrubs and vegetables like legumes, salad crops, and root crops in peaty soil.
Chalky soil tends to have larger grains and is usually stonier than other types of soil. This soil is free draining and it overlays limestone or chalk bedrock. It’s also alkaline, so it can cause stunted growth as well as yellowish leaves.
You can resolve these problems by utilizing the right fertilizer and adding humus to improve workability and water retention. Chalky soil is suitable for growing shrubs, bulbs, and trees as well as vegetables like beets, spinach, cabbage, sweet corn, and many more.
Loamy soil usually has an even mix of silt, sand, and clay, and can feel slightly damp and fine-textured. It has good characteristics for lawns, gardening, and shrubs. Another good thing is that loamy soil has an excellent structure, good drainage, is full of nutrients, moisture-retaining, warms up fast in spring, and is easy to cultivate. However, loamy soil doesn’t dry out fast during summer and the soil needs to be mixed with organic matter regularly.
Loamy soil is suitable for climbers, perennials, bamboos, tubers, and shrubs. Many berry crops and vegetable crops can also do well in this soil. But loamy soil needs proper management to prevent drying out and depletion. Therefore, it’s a good idea to rotate crops, use mulches, plant green manure crops, and many more.