Premium Bulk Garden Mix – The Most Common Amendments
While our Premium Bulk Garden Mix includes the right quantities of sand, silt, topsoil and clay, as a way to offer a one-size-fits-all solution, we understand that it will need to be amended. Every region is different, and so are the requirements of every plant. Not to mention that every gardener amends the soil to suit their gardening environment. New gardeners often quickly learn that they can get better results by amending the soil in various ways.
Gardeners often add soil amendments to their flower gardens and vegetable plots so that they grow better. Amendments can help:
- Increase organic matter in the soil
- Tweak the soil’s moisture-holding capacity
- Improve soil aeration
- Improve the structure and texture of the soil
- Promote healthy plant growth and reduce the instance of diseases
How To Choose An Amendment?
Today, there are many amendments to choose from; it is essential to know what is right for your garden, starting with a soil test. A test will give you helpful information like the pH of the soil, amount of organic matter, and overall fertility. After you know the quality, you can combine that with your plant’s need to choose the right amendments. For instance, if the plant needs more nitrogen, you can add more composted animal manure.
Below we’ll go into some of the most common amendments.
Some of the most common amendments including adding compost, animal manure, leaf mould, peat moss, black earth and kelp.
Compost – It is a popular amendment that can easily be made in your backyard. It consists of decomposed garden debris, vegetable peelings and leaves. Adding it helps improve clay and sandy soils, which improves water holding capacity to enhance plant growth. Compost can be added in spring or in between successive crops as well as in autumn.
Animal Manures – You can find livestock manures at various garden centres. The most common is cow manure, but you can also get sheep, horse and chicken manure. Adding manure helps to increase the nitrogen in the soil. Some types like chicken manure have more nitrogen than others. However, it is essential to be familiar with the pros and cons of using each type.
Chopped leaves or leaf mould – You can dig these into the garden bed during autumn to improve soil structure, texture and boost its water holding capacity.
Peat Moss – It has been sold as a soil conditioner for years. Its fluffy and light texture is mainly made from dried sphagnum moss. It is an ingredient in potting mixes. Dry peat moss repels water which makes it a bad choice for top dressing or mulching. It also contains far less if any nutrients than most other amendments but will acidify the soil. Peat moss is a controversial amendment but one that some gardeners swear by.
Black Earth – The black earth we are talking about here is called chernozem, which is a very good amendment because it is rich in nutrients and humus. While less common as compared to black peat, especially in Canada. However, it is an excellent amendment to bulk garden mix that’s to be used to grow flowers and vegetables.
Kelp Meal – It is another amendment favoured by many gardeners, especially those that live near the ocean. Kelp is mainly seaweed washed up and gathered, then brought home and put in a compost bin. Since seaweed is rich in micronutrients and plant hormones, it helps promote growth. However, it’s possible to find bags of kelp meal at the local garden supply store if you don’t live far from the sea. It is an excellent amendment for flower beds and vegetable gardens in spring.
While there are most certainly other amendments that professional gardeners may use, it’s all up to what you’re trying to achieve. It also depends on what you’re trying to grow.
Are you unsure what type of gardener you may be? Read more about the three most common gardeners here: www.blackdirtcompany.com/bulk-garden-mix-for-three-common-types-of-gardens/, and their preferred garden mix here: www.blackdirtcompany.com/bulk-garden-mix-for-three-common-types-of-gardens/
Stay tuned for our next blog where we address more soil-related questions.