How do I get healthy soil? 3 tips to help you out
Healthy soil is important. If you want a lush lawn and a bountiful garden, then you need healthy soil. There’s simply no way around it.
But how do you get healthy soil, and when you do acquire that healthy soil, how do you keep it?
There are a few things you need to know in order to maintain healthy soil. Let’s go ahead and discuss three of those things right now.
Your soil needs the essential nutrients.
We’ve talked about essential plant nutrients quite a bit. (In fact, you can read up on 14 essential plant nutrients here, and you can learn about 8 plant micronutrients in this post.) So it should come as no surprise to you that we’re going to talk about them again.
Plants are able to grow big and strong because they soak up all of their essential plant nutrients and micronutrients from the soil. However, if the soil is not balanced and lacking certain nutrients, then the plants will suffer. This might come in the form of wilting leaves, stunted growth, or perhaps discoloration. All side effects the common gardener wants to steer clear of.
Because of this, you need to make sure your soil is able to supply your plants and grass with all of the proper nutrients. You can do this by adding organic matter to your soil (like food scraps or manure — just remember, food scraps need to be composted and fresh manure can sometimes cause problems later down the road), or you can use an all-in-one product (like TurfMAX or GardenMAX) that can intelligently and automatically deliver those nutrients on your behalf.
Your soil needs water.
Common sense, right? Your soil needs water. Most people get this. HOWEVER, how much you should water and how often you should water are two things that the average person may not understand entirely.
You see, if you water too much or too little, you can seriously hurt your green friends. And sometimes, if you water too much, the side effects will actually look as if you’ve watered too little. For example, wilting leaves and moist soil is a surefire indicator that the plants have been overwatered. But if the soil is overlooked and instead, the wilting leaves are focused on, then you may rush for the hose — which will further damage your plants and potentially encourage disease to run rampant.
Long story short, you need to understand how best to water your plants. And at the same time, you also need to understand that not every plant is created equal. One plant may need X amount of water, while another plant may need Y amount of water. Make sure you get to know your plants, as well as their specific watering needs.
(Pro Tip: Batch similar plants together. This will make it simpler to supply your plants with the proper maintenance. For example, place all your plants that need heavy water in one area of your garden, and place all the plants that need very little water in another area of your garden.)
Your soil needs the right amendments.
Previously, we brought up TurfMAX and GardenMAX — two very special products from Green As It Gets that are able to balance your soil’s pH level, deliver essential plant nutrients, and bring beneficial microbes into the mix.
There are a variety of alternatives to products like these two; however, it’s important to remember that they might not always turn out for the best and may end up creating more work for you in the longhaul.
For example, you could try to test your soil to get a reading on your pH level — and then add materials to make your soil less alkaline or less acidic. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these tests aren’t always accurate. And to make matters more complicated, what you find to be true about one area of your soil, may not be the case a few feet (or even a few inches) away.
If this is the case, you could damage your soil further by trying to re-balance your pH with various materials. A product like TurfMAX or GardenMAX helps you avoid this hurdle because it can solve a handful of issues at once — without sacrificing the health of your soil in another area. For example, it can balance your pH level on one side of your garden, while simultaneously adding missing nutrients to the other side of your garden.
Whether you decide to use these products or not, you simply need to understand that your soil can change from one area to the next. Trying to fix one section of your soil could very well end up damaging another section of your soil, so be strategic with what you use.
Want to keep learning? There are plenty more tips where these came from. Check out this article on how to break up hard, compacted soil.