It might seem strange to go out and buy soil for your garden. After all, there’s plenty of dirt in most backyards, and besides, a garden is simply a plot of earth where plants grow. But not all types of soil are created equal.
Successful lawn maintenance starts with healthy soil. The good news is that you can easily buy quality soil at your local nursery or home improvement store; the bad news is that even though it comes pre-mixed and bagged, you may find it difficult to figure out exactly which type your garden needs.
To determine which soil is best for your garden as part of your lawn maintenance, you need to first understand that different plants thrive with different types of soil. Here is a rundown of the types of soil you can find easily.
This light, airy soil mix is specifically formulated for container gardening to provide adequate drainage and space for roots to grow. Just add it to pots and plant directly into it. You’ll want to replace potting soil annually.
Soilless blends are perfect for starting delicate seeds. These super-light mixes are usually made of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite and as the name implies, do not contain organic matter that could harm or kill tender seedlings.
Raised Bed Mixes
Raised bed soil is used when filling a raised bed that exists on top of native soil. If your native soil is extra challenging, planting above ground can be the quickest and easiest path to success.
Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Mixes
Certain types of plants such as succulents, palms, and citrus trees need fast-draining soil, so these mixes ensure good drainage and prevent soil compaction.
Low-grade topsoil is good for filling and leveling holes but not formulated for planting. Higher-grade topsoil can be used to supplement less than ideal native soil.
This mix is primarily used for over-seeding and lawn repair. Most bagged lawn soil contains additives to increase water retention plus a starter fertilizer.
Organic matter is superb for adding to any soil type because it enriches and boosts fertility while releasing nutrients over an extended period of time, giving it a much longer-lasting impact than fast-acting chemical fertilizers. You can use compost as a mulch, then let the earthworms do the hard work of dragging it underground.
Test it Yourself!
Take a look at the soil in your own backyard, supplement it appropriately, and plant things that will thrive. If there are certain types that you just have to have but that like a different environment, create that situation by supplementing the dirt that’s available or uses containers.
You may even find that you have two or three different earth conditions already, and simply need to move plants from one area to another.
What’s the soil like where you live? Are formerly unhappy plants thriving, now that you’ve transplanted them to different locations? Let me know in the comments!