Best Soil Amendments

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When it comes to soil amendments, I try to keep it at a minimum. I don’t buy any fertilizer whatsoever. I make all of my own compost and apply it to my garden beds each year and that takes care of all the nutrients my plants need.

However, I do some container gardening and make my own potting soil. Also, if you are starting a new garden and are looking to amend your soil for the first time or fill up a garden bed, some of these products may interest you!

Potting Mix

My homemade potting mix is pretty easy to make. I mix the material below together as follows:

You can read more about potting mix for container garden in this article – Can You Use Garden Soil For Potted Plants?

If you are starting a garden for the first time, the above potting mix could also be tilled right into your new soil to improve its quality. This is the only time I would ever recommend tilling a garden!!

If you are starting a raised garden bed or box and are wondering what material to fill it with, you may strongly want to consider filling it with a product called Pro Mix. If you can’t find access to a good quality compost (or a large enough amount), Pro Mix can be used to fill your entire garden bed and your plants would be ready for planting right away. It is entirely organic and your plants with thrive in it! It might seem a bit expensive but think of it as a long-term investment to get your garden started on the right path to success!

Azomite Rock Dust

Azomite rock dust is volcanic rock that contains over 70 different minerals and trace elements. These minerals are essential for good plant growth and it is important to add these nutrients back into your soil on a regular basis. Each year your plants take out minerals in order to grow so it’s important to always give back to your soil!

Sulfur Powder

If your soil is too alkaline or you have acid-loving plants like blueberries, you may want to consider adding sulfur to your soil. Sulfur powder is an organic chemical that can be safely used to raise the acidity of your soil to a pH level closer to the optimal 7.0. Follow the directions on the bag for whatever product you buy.

Lime

If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to adjust your pH. This Dolomite Lime is a popular product that also contains calcium and magnesium, which is great for plants like tomatoes. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bag for whatever product you buy.

Soil Tests

You may be struggling with your garden and want to take a more scientific approach to finding out what is wrong with your soil. In this case, you can do a soil test to figure out what deficiencies your soil might have.

There are a few easy tests that I recommend. The first is an at-home test that can give you instant results for some of the main components of your soil like pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Another option is to buy a soil test kit that requires you to send your soil in to the company and they will do official testing and send you a full soil report. This would be a more complete type of test that will show you a greater list of nutrients that you may be lacking and provide you with suggestions on how to fix those deficiencies. You can find that test here.


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