3 Of The Most Common Types of Gardeners
3 Of The Most Common Types of Gardeners
We can tell you from years of selling bulk garden mix that very few gardens have naturally perfect soil. However, gardeners have a pretty large assortment of garden soil amendments they can resort to building soil, improve its nutrient density, structure, and promote the healthy growth of the plants they want to grow. Gardeners will often rely on a few amendments like adding leaf mould, compost and some aged manure, which are added to beds sometime during spring, in autumn or during successive crops if they want to maximize the yield of their homegrown vegetables.
Bulk garden mix, especially the type we sell, offers gardeners a good starting point. It offers the right amount of just about everything but can be amended to what you prefer. Some gardeners may prefer working with a loamy mix; others may want something with more peat moss. Regardless, the bulk garden mix can be amended to what you prefer and what you want to grow. However, just as easily, it can be used by someone who isn’t a gardener right out of the box since it does not contain fillers that may adversely affect your plants, i.e., rose gardens, vegetable gardens, etc.
In this article, we’ll examine the three most common types of amendments that professional gardeners make to their bulk garden mix. Generally, one type of gardener will also make several different amendments, depending on what they want to grow. As someone new to gardening, this insight can help you make a few amendments of your own.
Gardener – A – Prefers a Loamy Mix
A loamy mix is defined as a good balance of sand, clay and silt. Many gardeners prefer this type of soil for various reasons, including:
- Has a higher pH level: The ideal pH for most plants is anywhere between 6.0 and 7.0. The pH directly affects how well the plants grow. Anywhere between 6-7 is considered neutral for the most part and allows plants, earthworms and other organisms to thrive.
- More calcium – Plants require calcium to grow healthy. Gardeners will add calcium to maintain the balance of chemicals in the soil. It also helps ensure that the water gets to the roots of a plant, improving its water retention capabilities. Calcium also reduces the amount of salt in the soil because too much of it (salt) can damage the root system while limiting the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.
- A gritty texture – Loamy soil is soft and dry with a gritty texture. It crumbles to the touch, which offers excellent draining capabilities and retains water and nutrients. Plants that need to be consistently moist benefit greatly from this type of soil. The crumbly nature allows air to flow through it all the way to the roots.
Gardener – B – Chooses Sandy Soil
Many gardeners prefer their soil to be sandy. Sand is the largest particle in soil and does not do a very good job of holding on to nutrients. However, our bulk garden mix can be amended so that it is sandy, which happens to benefit certain types of plants like:
- The Blanket Flower – While it does not necessarily need sandy soil to survive, it is has adapted to thrive in a drought. So, it will do well in pH-neutral sandy soil.
- Butterfly weed – It’s a plant best known to attract butterflies. It loves the sun and prefers dry sandy soil, which isn’t obviously nutrient-dense.
- Wormwood – It is a perennial herb which too is drought-tolerant and prefers dry, sandy, mostly inadequately fertile soil.
- Adam’s Needle – The yucca plant grows better in sandy soil and can tolerate salt spray. Other types of soil, mainly without sand, can cause the roots to rot. That’s why gardeners specializing in growing Adam’s Needle will amend the soil to make it sandy.
Gardener – C – Wants More Peat Moss in Their Garden Mix
Many gardeners choose to add more peat moss to our bulk garden mix even though we already have a good ratio. While it is a useful amendment, it is mostly a choice made by gardeners preparing potting soil. The additional peat moss helps to increase soil moisture retention, retain nutrients, and aerate the soil. It also, when used in the correct quantity, helps prevent soil compaction. Peatmoss is also helpful at growing seeds, creating various potting mixes and improving soil texture.
However, many amateur gardeners are not aware of the advantages of adding peat moss to their bulk garden mix. Sure, one of the advantages is that it will help grow healthy plants, but you should be aware of a few other advantages and disadvantages when adding it to bulk garden mix or creating your own mix.
The addition of peat moss makes the soil more acidic. If the soil has an exceptionally high pH level, it can be made slightly more acidic with peat moss, which has a pH of 4.4. Plants like hydrangeas, rhododendrons and camellias tend to grow better if the soil is more acidic. Since peat moss isn’t breaking down in the soil, a single application can last a long time.
However, if you want to add peat moss without raising the acidity of the soil, it can be done by adding a bit of lime to neutralize the acidic content in peat moss.
Gardeners working on making their own potting mix using our bulk garden mix as a starting point will add peat moss because it helps create a good growing environment for houseplants. The peat moss and perlite helps water drain faster. The peat moss will retain just enough moisture needed to keep the roots barely hydrated without becoming too wet.
Every gardener is different and is trying to achieve a different goal, often with plants that have differing needs. While bulk garden mix, like the type we sell, starts you off at an excellent base, it can and should be amended to suit what you’re trying to grow best in the environment you’ve created. Learn more about the different amendments that can be added here: www.blackdirtcompany.com/premium-bulk-garden-mix-amendments/
Stay tuned for our next blog where we address more soil-related questions.