There are many different types and qualities of soils. All soils have the ability to support plant life. However, not all soils are well-adapted to support the growth of a large variety of plant materials in their natural state. Even less suited for sustaining plant growth are sub-soils, which are often uncovered in grading or building operations, by builders or landscapers then hidden by covering them with 3 to 4 inches of screened loam. An encouraging truth is that a vast majority of soils, no matter how inhospitable they are to the growth of plants, can be brought into fertile conditions by appropriate management.
Often you will hear about soil being described as acidic or alkaline. What degree has an important bearing upon the sorts of plants that will grow and thrive in a site. Acidity and alkalinity are measured on a pH scale from 1 to 14, with a 1 being most acidic and 14 being most alkaline. If the pH is too high or too low, nutrients in the soil are locked up and unavailable to plants for uptake. Most ornamental plant material performs best with a pH ranging between 5.8 and 6.6—slightly on the acidic side.
Additives the can be used to lower the pH include - peat moss, aluminum sulfate, compost, manure and sulfur.
Additives used to raise the pH include - dolomitic lime, hydrated lime, and wood ashes.
Soils structure and fertility can be improved with the incorporation of some of the following materials:
Contains green waste (leaves, grass clipping, plant material, kitchen waste, bark…) Improves aeration & nutrient retention. Rejuvenates soil by adding nutrients and helps break up heavy clay soils.
Green Earth Premium Compost
Contains a blend of composted sheep and cattle manure, composted forest material and Profile porous soil amendment. Adds organic matter and nutrients, improves aeration and increases water retention.
Green Harvest Soil Builder
Contains sphagnum peat moss, organic compost, fish meal, kelp, gypsum and zeolite. Improves drainage, retains moisture, breaks up clay, builds up sandy soil, and retains nutrients for slow release as plants need it. Adds nutrients and organic matter to your soil - nature’s organic soil builder.
An extremely valuable soil amendment that adds nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other micronutrients to the soil. Increases aeration and helps loosen up hard soils. Clean and odourless.
Excellent water holding and aeration properties. Helps loosen up clay soils, improves drainage and aeration. Prevents nutrients from being leached from the soil. Helps create the right conditions for acid-loving plants—pH of peat moss is 3.5-5.5 so helps lower pH of alkaline soils. When used as mulch it can crust over and prevent moisture from penetrating the soil. Therefore make sure you mix peat moss into the soil.
A naturally occurring volcanic mineral that has been expanded by heat to form lightweight, odorless particles. Very useful in soil mixes for plants in flats, pots and other containers. It improves porosity and aeration. A great medium in which to root cuttings.
Organic compost made from composted fish and forest fines soil. Adds macro and micro nutrients to the soil, retains moisture, increases organic content and introduces beneficial micro-organism to the soil.
Contains equal parts of manure, peat moss and loam. Adds nutrients, improves water retention and aeration.
Natural occurring, mica - like mineral that has been expanded by heat to form highly absorbent particles. Improves soil aeration and provides storage of moisture and nutrients for the plants and roots. Encourages seed germination.
A natural mineral that does not break down. Helps break up clay soil, improves drainage, aeration and moisture retention. Increases nutrient availability. All purpose for indoor and outdoor uses.