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Posted 11/14/2022 by Bradley Landscape Development



Believe it or not now is the time to incorporate organic amendments into your garden before the winter rains occur.

Organic amendments applied during this time of year will take advantage of rain hopefully over winter percolating nutrients into the root system of plant material which will promote healthy grass growth in the spring.

Organic soil amendments improve coarse-textured (sandy) soils by increasing the water and nutrient holding capacity. Organic soil amendments help fight harmful plant diseases. Using amendments from a local source can reduce fossil fuel use and air pollution compared to shipping products across the country.

Here are a few benefits of using Soil Amendments:


Spring Soil Preparation

Soil improvement is an ongoing process and can sometimes take ten or more years to build productive garden soil. If the soil has too much sand or too much clay, the solution to both is the same add organic material.

Organic materials, also known as organic amendments, break apart tight clays, provide aeration, and hold water and nutrients in loose sands. Organic materials include compost, peat, and manure.

How do I amend my soil?

Add a two-inch layer of organic material over the surface of the planters. We suggest using four cubic yards of organic material per 1,000 square feet. Mix the organic material thoroughly with a tiller or spade to a depth of four to six inches.

What materials should I use?

The best organic amendments are coarse materials. Fibrous sphagnum peats work well, although more expensive than compost or manure. We do not recommend using dusty, fine peats, since they have a tendency to clog soil drainage. Good quality organic compost will not only add nutrition to plants, but it will also rebuild poor soils through the addition of microbial and fungal activity (inoculation).  

When to add Amendments:

Different varieties of plants require their unique amendments during the changing seasons. Rich organic compost can be added anytime per year.  We suggest adding organic compost to the soil during late winter in preparation for spring.  Adding compost to the soil is a fairly quick process and amendments

can take several weeks for nutrients to percolate into the soil. Topping the planter with a layer of mulch after the addition of amendments will help conserve water and promote microbial activity between mulch and compost.   

Did you give this a try? – Let us know how it went.

When should I fertilize my garden:

The best time to fertilize landscape plants is when they begin to grow actively. Worst time to fertilize plants is at the end of their growing season. Most trees, for example, begin to awaken and grow in early spring, and typically are fertilized once in February or March. The majority of shrubs produce active growth in the spring and early summer, so we tend to fertilize them once around March or April. Lawns are allowed to green up before fertilizing in late March or early April and are fertilized again in mid-summer.

What is the most valuable soil amendment to add to garden soil?

The most valuable garden soil amendment is compost, which provides a wide range of essential plant nutrients to soil structure and contains bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects that support healthy plant growth.

What are some water-conservative alterations I could perform to existing irrigation?

Replacing spay nozzels with MP Rotator nozzles.  MP rotator nozzels feature unique, multi-trajectory rotating streams that deliver water at a steady rate. This slower application rate allows water to gently soak in at rates that soils can absorb. Use the MP Rotator to replace the sprinkler head on any conventional spray head body or pop up the sprinkler for water savings of up to 30%.

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