Garden Soil – Guide for Gardening at Home

Garden Soil – The Importance of Good Earth

When planning and building a garden, one of the most critical things to consider is the quality and quantity of garden soil available in which to plant flowers and trees. Much like how fish need water, plants require soil in order to grow. Polluted water is not healthy for fish, and quite similarly nutrient-weak and mineral-poor soil is not healthy for your plants.

Garden soil is something that often causes problems for new gardeners, specifically those who have moved to an area where ground quality is poor, or where drought is a frequent issue. Dry, cracked earth does not promote growth or healthy plants, and without the aid of over materials you will have a very difficult time getting anything to grow under these conditions.

Fortunately, it can be fairly easy to overcome naturally poor local garden soil by using mixtures prepared and sold from gardening centers. By doing so, you can enhance the natural earth around your home and give plants and flowers the assistance they need to grow strong, healthy and beautiful.

Garden Soil – The Major Type

There are a number of different types of garden soil available for use. You can purchase all of these (except clay, most usually) from a garden center, and in combination they will allow you to create a garden that will meet your expectations and be impossible not to love.

· Topsoil – Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, usually consisting of the top 2 to 6 inches. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms, and is where most of the Earth’s biological soil activity occurs. Plants generally concentrate their roots in, and obtain most of their nutrients from this layer.

The actual depth of the topsoil layer can be measured as the depth from the surface to the first densely packed soil layer known as “hardpan.” Commercial topsoil is available from garden centers. It is usually a combination of high-quality soil mixed with fertilizers (not always). Layering this in your garden will help promote growth.

· Clay – Clay is a grouping of silicate minerals that forms in the ground, usually beneath the layer of topsoil. Clay is hard, thick and often difficult to dig through with a shovel. Clay-heavy garden soil can inhibit the growth of plant life, although some clay is useful in preventing erosion. Breaking up and eliminating clay might be a useful first step in preparing your garden, although be sure to take it easy so as not to cause back injuries.

· Peat Moss – Peat moss is actually a living plant known as sphagnum. Peat moss commonly grows around peat bogs, and is known for holding large quantities of water inside of their cells. Peat moss as used in the garden consists of decayed and compacted sphagnum. When applied to your garden, usually above the layer of topsoil, you effectively increase its water absorption capabilities.

This is often necessary when dealing with very sandy garden soil, or plants that need increased moisture content to flourish. Peat moss is also a critical element for growing mushrooms; mycelium grows in compost with a layer of peat moss on top, through which the mushrooms come out, a process called pinning.

· Manure – Manure is organic matter used as fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of garden soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen that is trapped by bacteria in the soil. Manure generally consists of animal feces, and is very powerful when it comes to improving the quality of your garden soil.

These are just some of the common elements of garden soil. By combining them, you can help to guarantee a healthy and attractive garden.

Garden Soil – Tips

When preparing a garden area, you want to make sure that all grass and weeds have been removed from the area you wish to plant. Otherwise, they will have a tendency to move in and take over the area where your flowers should be. Spread two or three inches of garden soil (preferably a mixture of those discussed above) to allow optimal room for growth.

Using a spade or garden fork, turn over the soil to a depth of eight inches and then level with a garden rake. This will ensure maximum mixture and help you to grow flowers worthy of floral bouquets or the shop of a florist.

By using these garden soil tips, the finished products will lend your garden a great appearance that will be the envy of family and neighbors alike. The delivery of natural beauty to your yard will make it that much easier to spend more time in it.

For more information about garden soil, consult with your local florist or garden center, or search online for additional topics. By following garden soil advice, you will achieve the greatest results.

Copyright (c) 2008 – Brant Florist

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