You’ve tried and tried to be a green thumb, but it’s just not happening. What could possibly be wrong? Maybe it’s your soil…
[Recommended read: 5 easy to grow plants for brown thumbs]
The bottom line is that healthy soil is essential for successfully growing healthy plants.
So what can you do if your soil is “unhealthy”?
Here are our top 5 tips to fix some common soil problems:
1. The pH level is too high or low
The pH level of your soil is very important. If you notice your horticultural efforts aren’t turning out as planned, it could be your soil’s pH balance – either too acidic or too alkaline.
Since most plants thrive in the 6.0 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral) range, a pH of 6.5 is perfect. If the pH level is too high add pure sulphur. If it’s too low add lime.
2. Lacking in essential nutrients
While there are tons of essential nutrients needed for optimum growing conditions, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are three of the most important.
If your soil is lacking them (or other nutrients) try adding manure, compost, seaweed and/or granite dust.
3. Too much salt (sodium)
It’s difficult to detect, but too much sodium in your soil often manifests itself in white specks that are visible on the surface.
Providing your soil isn’t at a toxic level, you may find some success in reducing the amount of salt by refreshing it with fresh water.
4. The soil texture is wrong
Believe it or not, the size of your soil’s particles makes a difference. Particles that are too large will lead to your garden drying out. Particles that are too small could lead to flooding.
Compost and/or sand should fix both scenarios.
5. Not enough organic matter
Organic matter benefits your soil no end. It serves as a reservoir that traps all the vital nutrients and water. A lack of it can cause your plants and flowers to suffer.
Because organic matter (anything that was once alive and is now in the soil) tends to be in the topsoil, preventing soil erosion is your number one priority.