Spring Soil Maintenance
Superior Landscaping Ltd.
Spring Soil Maintenance
If garden growth and plant health have been problems in the past, the quality of your soil could be to blame. In that case, improving it is the key to achieving a bountiful, beautiful landscape full of thriving plants.
Rocky soil can be a definite hindrance to garden growth. When too many rocks are present, plants have difficulty putting down roots and in getting the water and nutrients they need to flourish.
Before planting this spring, use a rake or soil sifter – available at your local garden center – to remove rocks from the top few inches of your garden beds. Doing so can have a dramatic impact on plant health.
Aerate the Soil
Aeration is the next step to soil maintenance. Soil that is heavily compacted or has a high clay content is detrimental to plant growth, as it has poor drainage.
To aerate your soil, stop by your local garden center and pick up a spike or plug aerator tool. Use it throughout your planting sites, and you’ll notice an improvement in the health and beauty of your outdoor plants.
Add Organic Material
Just about any garden can benefit from the addition of organic matter. As it breaks down, the soil will absorb the nutrients and pass them along to your plants.
Working compost into the first several inches of your garden beds before planting this spring can provide you with greater gardening success. If you don’t have a compost bin, you can purchase the organic material at your local garden center.
Test the Soil
When you visit the garden center, make sure to pick up a soil test kit. Follow the instructions, and you’ll know right away where yours stands in terms of nutrient content and pH level.
For more accurate results that allow you to identify specific amendments for soil maintenance, you can purchase a kit designed to send samples out to a lab for analysis.
Amend the Soil
Depending upon your test results, you may need to adjust the pH balance of your soil. If yours is too acidic, adding ground limestone can resolve the problem. If the garden bed is too alkaline, you may need to add sulfur.
In addition, ask the plant experts at your local garden center about ongoing soil maintenance. As your plants grow and use up the available nutrients, you may need to consider fertilization – and you’ll need a product that is formulated to meet your particular plant needs.