The Best Amendments for Richer Soil and Greater Yields
Soil is where your plants soak up all the necessary nutrients and beneficial bacteria to fuel their growth. If your soil lacks all that good stuff, then your plants’ performance will be pretty lackluster; this is where amendments come in! There are all sorts of different materials and products you can mix into the dirt to improve nutrient density, water retention, compaction, pH balance, and so much more, which will lead to stronger, healthier plants and veggie gardens that produce bigger harvests.
Set Your Plants Up for Success By Adding These Amendments to the Soil
If you aren’t sure about the state of your garden soil, a soil test can precisely tell which nutrients are lacking and test the pH level. Most plants prefer neutral pH environments, but some prefer more acidic or alkaline conditions, so check the preferences of your plants before you choose the necessary amendments.
Keep in mind that amendments are different from fertilizer. Fertilizers provide the necessary nutrients that your plants need to perform their basic functions, but amendments feed the soil itself, bulking it up with organic matter that improves the quality, texture, and balance of microbes and good bacteria.
Manure sourced from herbivorous animals is one of the best amendments for your soil! It contains plenty of beneficial bacteria and microbes and doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria you’d typically find in waste from non-herbivores. It’s also great for improving drainage—if your soil is too sandy, it will help it hold onto moisture for longer, and if it’s too clay-heavy and compacted, it will loosen things up! Steer manure is in high supply, so you can get plenty of it without breaking the bank.
Compost is organic matter that has decomposed over time. You can purchase it from a garden centre or make your own at home with kitchen scraps! Composting is actually a great way to reduce your household waste—just make sure you don’t add any animal byproducts like meat or dairy. Like manure, compost introduces loads of healthy nutrients while also improving drainage, texture, and moisture retention. Mix it into the soil, or topdress the garden if your plants are already in place.
This spongy moss comes from peat bogs, and it’s excellent for loosening up heavy, compacted soil where moisture is pooling. Its spongy texture helps improve air circulation, and it’s especially useful for amending potting mediums for houseplants that prefer looser, chunkier mediums, like succulents and cacti. It also helps decrease pH levels and make conditions more acidic. If your soil is too alkaline or growing acidity-loving plants like blueberries, azaleas, or rhododendrons, mix in plenty of peat moss. That pH number will go down right away!
Calcium helps improve root health and spread, and it prevents tomato plants from developing blossom end rot. Bone meal is an amendment that delivers plenty of calcium into the soil, and it continually increases the levels of beneficial microbes throughout the growing season! You can mix it into the dirt or sprinkle it into the hole you’ve dug before transplanting your plants.
Is your soil too acidic? Add lime! No, not the fruit—gardener’s lime is crushed limestone or dolomite, and it’s very effective at raising the pH to make growing conditions more alkaline. Fun fact: if you have blue bigleaf hydrangeas and want to turn them pink, add some lime, and the colour will transition to a beautiful rosy hue!
To find these and other soil amendments in Abbotsford, visit Windsor Greenhouse to stock up on all the necessary supplies for growing a spectacular garden.