Soil amendments are an important component to consider when growing any type of plant. As we all know, the right kind of soil can make or break a successful harvest. But what exactly are soil amendments? Soil amendments are materials added to the soil that can improve its structure, texture and/or fertility in some way. Common soil amendments include compost, manure, gypsum, lime, peat moss and many others.
The main purpose of adding a soil amendment is to create better drainage for the soil and help the plants absorb nutrients more easily. Soil amendments also increase water retention so your plants don’t dry out as quickly during drought periods. If you have heavy clay soils with poor drainage and low nutrient availability then it’s especially important to add a soil amendment. Compost and other organic matter is great for adding nutrients to the soil while improving its overall structure and aeration. Manure is another great option as it adds both nitrogen and phosphorus to the soil as well as helpful bacteria that aid in plant growth.
If you live in an area where pH levels are off-balance, lime or sulfur can be used as a soil amendment to bring those levels back into balance so your plants get all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive. Gypsum can also be used to reduce compaction in soils while helping them retain moisture longer so plants don’t dry out too quickly. Finally, peat moss can be added to clay soils in order to increase water retention and give it a better structure which helps roots penetrate deeper into the soil allowing for better access to essential minerals and water resources for plants.
No matter what kind of garden you have, chances are there’s at least one type of soil amendment that could help you achieve better results from your plants this season. Take time to do some research on what type of amendments would best benefit your particular garden space and take note of any special instructions given by each individual product before adding anything new!