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Soil Quality and Garden Success

The very foundation of landscaping and garden success is all about the soil. If it looks good above ground, it is because something good is happening underground. 

Soil quality and health is the most important part of a successful gardening and landscape beauty. When you take care of the soil, the rewards help your garden plants to flourish. 

Topsoil thrives with good care

Soil is composed of organic and inorganic resources. The organic portion of soil comes from living things (plants, worms, insects, birds, critters) and their decomposed remains. All play a role in soil creation and enrichment. In addition, there are many naturally occurring types of bacteria and fungi in soil that are essential to plant health. They help breakdown nutrients and hold moisture in the root zone where they can be absorbed by plants and trees. Gardening experts mix composted material into planting beds and top them with mulch. Therefore, the microbes in good topsoil makes our gardens thrive.

Macro and micro minerals

Rock that is broken down into minerals, sand and clay make up the inorganic portion of soil. These minerals are referred to as macro and micro-nutrients. The three macro-nutrients – the ones plants need the most for food, energy and full-bodied growth – are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. But, in order to function properly, micro-nutrients must also be present in the soil to assist with macro-nutrient absorption. Micro-nutrients include iron, copper, boron, aluminum and almost another dozen. Micro-nutrients are like digestive aids for plants.


Where did all the topsoil go?

True topsoil is hard to find. In housing developments, developers typically scoop away topsoil or push excavated dirt on top of it. They bring in dirt from elsewhere to fill in and finish out the grading. Usually budgets for landscaping in new developments is minimal. The soil left behind after construction is often of poor quality, because it may lack enough nutrients or may drain poorly due to too much clay or compacted fill dirt.

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Soil preparation and planting methods definitely matter

Sod can grow on poorly prepared soil with irrigation and fertilization. Though not recommend, it does save the expense of amending the soil and building healthy turf. Trees and shrubs, on the other hand, have a tough time establishing root systems when the soil is poor.

The best garden care begins with a soil composition analysis. Core samples from various areas on the property are sent to a lab. Based on the findings, damaged or poorly balanced soils are amended to accommodate the types of trees and plants planned for the property. Depending on the species, there will be different requirements for drainage, Ph balance, and macro/micro-nutrient balance.

Landscapers have a saying, “Plant a nickel plant in a dollar hole.” It means that, if you are going to spend extra money, spend it on soil preparation - not the plant because the plant is worthless if you do not plant it in good soil. Preparation is key, do not short-change your efforts.

Contact Homescape Now today to have your soil quality analyzed and your garden flourishing in no time! Give us a call today!

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