It is possible to buy the right plants for the right conditions, but if you don’t have the correct soil your plants may not thrive.
We recommend rich and loamy. If you don’t know what loamy means hang tight, we’ll explain in just a second.
Keep in mind, if your landscaping soil isn’t ideal, don’t freak out. There are steps you can take to fix it and your plants will love you for it.
We used the word loamy to describe ideal soil, which is a humus-rich balance of silt, sand, and clay. Basically, healthy soil is something you know when you feel it. You should find that it is easy to dig, drains well, and hydrates your plants easily.
However, there are more scientific ways to assess your soil, too, including the popular soil test.
You can simply buy a kit and do it yourself or send a soil sample to a local nursery or lawn and garden company to give you feedback. This soil test measures the levels of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in your soil. These three ingredients are key to having a healthy growing environment.
The test also will tell you your soil’s pH level, which is the measure of its acidity or alkalinity. Your soil’s pH affects whether your plants grow well or not so well.
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Soil pH ranges from 1.0 (acid) to 14.0 (highly alkaline), with 7 being neutral. Soil is typically more acidic in rainy regions (British Columbia) and more alkaline in desert areas and needs to be amended accordingly for your plants to thrive.
To raise the too-low (acidic) pH, add lime, dolomite limestone, or wood ashes. To lower too-high (alkaline) pH, add horticultural sulfur, composted oak leaves, or pine needles.
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