What are soil amendments? How should I add amendments?

Soil amendments help improve soil properties. In fact, most gardens have soils that are often sandy or clay-like. Poor soil may dry into hard clods that small roots cannot penetrate, causing plants to grow slowly. By adding amendments such as compost, peat moss or well-rotted manure, you supply organic materials that will decompose, releasing nutrients and improving drainage. The improved soil texture is easier for fine roots to penetrate and get established. It’s a good idea to amend the soil each season before new crops or flowers are planted.

For best results,garden soil for flowers & vegetables replaces do-it-yourself mixtures of topsoil, peat and manure. To help take the guesswork out of gardening, Some special garden soil was developed for planting all types of annuals and perennials.

You can mix the amendments with the soil removed from the planting holes before replacing it around the plant roots, or spread the materials over the planting bed and till them into the soil.

For a new bed, add 1 to 4 inches of amendment depending on your soil. Use more for poorer soils, less if the soil has been regularly amended in the past. To add amendments in new beds, spread the material evenly over the soil and work it in with a spade or shovel to a depth of about 8 inches. Around existing plants simply spread amendments like mulch to avoid damaging plant roots. Over time watering, worms and microorganisms will carry it downward, gradually improving the soil.