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How To Renew Your Old Garden Soil

Soil conditioners are full of helpful microbes that are beneficial to plants. In order to grow healthy vegetables and beautiful flowers, it may be necessary to better the garden bed. Soil conditioners are added to the soil to improve physical properties, such as water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration, and aggregation. Soil aggregation is the clumping of soil particles. These particles vary in size and are held together by moist clay or organic compounds. Some particles fit together tightly, while others leave spaces or pores. These spaces are necessary for allowing the soil to store water, air, microbes, nutrients, and organic matter.

Properly aggregated soil is more stable, less prone to erosion, and more plant friendly. Good soil is well-drained and aerated, meaning that the air inside the soil is similar to atmospheric air. This is critical for healthy root depth. The ability of water to flow through soil is referred to as the soil's permeability. Compacted and hardened soil resists water, not allowing it reach thirsty roots. Soil conditioners are used to loosen soil and replenish and maintain nutrients. Improving stressed soil and replenishing soil that has been damaged by over fertilization, pesticides or fungicides, will greatly boost plant growth and health.

Soil Conditioning Helps Compacted Dirt

Soil Conditioned Garden Dirt

The the addition of a wide variety of organic materials will go a long way in supplementing the soil. The goal is to provide a better environment for roots. Over time, soil can become compacted. This not only makes it difficult for plants for grow, but reduces their ability to draw nutrients and water. The addition of a soil conditioner loosens the soil, supplying loft and texture.

Too Much Clay

For soils heavy in clay, soil conditioners help with aggregation, aeration, drainage, and rooting depth. Porosity and permeability is also increased.

Too Much Sand

For sandy soils, the use of a soil conditioner will improve the water and nutrient holding capacity. Water retention can also be enhanced in very coarse soils.

Adjusting The pH

It is also possible to adjust the pH of the soil to answer the needs of specific plants, or to solve the problem of highly acidic or alkaline soil. People have been adding things to poor soil to promote healthy plant growth for centuries. By enriching the soil, plants are able to grow bigger and stronger.

Natural Bacteria Rebalances Damaged Soil

When naturally occurring bacteria is added to exhausted or leeched soils, they are extremely helpful in regenerating and rebalancing the soil. Extreme heat, drought, or flooding results in damaged soil. You may have noticed cracks in a dried out garden bed. This is caused by moisture evaporating and leaving behind empty pockets where soil then collapsed. The soil is now tight, compacted and anaerobic (without oxygen). The beneficial microorganisms that once benefited the soil have been replaced by harmful bacteria, making the environment inhospitable to plants. Adding organic matter to the soil promotes natural bacteria, improves oxygen levels, and enhances soil quality and texture. You can generate your own soil conditioner with material from home, to boost plant growth and performance.