"Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." Luke 8:8
Soil is the new dirt...
"Dirt is something you wash off your hands. Soil is what grows plants."
Ask any landscaper or gardner and they will tell you that the condition of the soil is the major component in plant health. Soil is a complex ecosystem made up of micro-organisms that consume organic matter and make nutrients available to plants. Fertility, texture, and structure are properties that determine the soil's ability to support plant growth.
Soil amendments can be used to open up soil and provide a better environment for root growth. There are two types of amendments...organic and inorganic. Here are two soil amendments we recommend:
Gypsum is an inorganic amendment that penetrates clay particles in heavy soils and loosen the soil structure. This creates air and moisture slots that loosens the soil. It does not work right away but can improve soil conditions when used consistently. Gypsum is not expensive and one application per year is all that is needed.
Gypsum is a good solution for reconditioning the soil because it can be spread on the surface of existing lawns, flowerbeds, and gardens. It does not have to be worked into the soil. Gypsum can be broadcast spread and watered in at a rate of 50 lbs per 1000 square feet.
Gypsum can be applied any time of the year but we recommend it be spread on turfgrass in the Fall when the grass no longer needs mowing. Water immediately after applying. Gypsum is not harmful to humans or animals.
Compost, like gypsum, is beneficial to both warm and cool season turfgrass varieties. Use compost as a soil amendment to increase the organic matter in the soil. Organic matter is critical for plant development and growth. Compost can be broadcast spread and watered in at a rate of 100 lbs per 1000 square feet.
For best results, use only finished compost as a soil amendment. Compost, particularly compost made from organic material, should resemble coffee grounds and have a fresh earthy smell...not an ammonia smell. A strong smell indicates composting is still going on and it will take nitrogen from your soil to complete the process before it can be of benefit your soil. Using unfinished compost as a soil amendment may stress plants, causing them to yellow or stalling their growth.
Good compost will add organic matter to your soil, improve the water retention ability, and oxygenate your soil for better plant health.
Good microbes are another benefit of compost. Drought, excessive heat, saline water, and compaction all reduce or eliminate good microbes. Compost will reintroduce these helpful microbes.