Soil or Dirt: Why is it important?

What feeds your yard and gardens naturally besides sun and rain?

Soil! Most plants need a well-balanced, well-draining, fertile soil to thrive. The top one to six inches of soil is the most vital and hold about 70% of the life of plants but what is a well-balanced soil?

Soil Layers

There are several elements necessary for a well-balanced soil and here are the most commonly known:

  • pH< – acidity and alkalinity of soil is measured by pH the ideal fertile soil range is 6.3 to 6.8
  • Calcium – balances nitrogen, neutralizes toxic materials, increases cell density.
  • Phosphorus – storage and transfer of plant energy, root development, and disease resistance.
  • Potassium – essential for photosynthesis, promotes root reserves, increases yield.
  • Nitrogen – predominant role and needed in large amounts but is usually deficient; an example is compost
  • Magnesium –  is needed with phosphorus, essential in chlorophyll (Green grass)
  • Boron – promotes increased sets of flowers, fruit, seeds, and quality; necessary for nitrogen conversion.

To know what your soil needs you can test your soil at home with a home soil test kit available at most garden centers or through seed catalogs, or you can send a sample to the PA Department of Agriculture.

fertile vs infertile soil

This is a list of the soils Conestoga Stone carries to balance or improve your soil.

  • Mushroom Compost – organic substances are processed into a loamy consistent homogeneous by-product. Mushroom compost is great to add to any soil mixtures for much needed nutrients.
  • Leaf Composthas many nutrients especially nitrogen; is good to put underneath your mulch as a natural fertilizer if your soil is already well-balanced.
  • Soil King – is ideal for new yards or new garden beds it has most all nutrients needed to grow beautiful vegetation the first year.
  • Premium Topsoil – is nutrient-rich with small amounts of sand for good drainage.
  • Screened Topsoil – not as nutrient-rich as premium topsoil but is more economical for large spaces and filling in holes in your yard.
  • Raw Top Soil – is usually used as a top-dressing on brand-new yards may contain small stones and has a fair amount of nutrients.
  • Raw Fill Dirt – only needed underneath top soils and top dressings; contains clay, rocks, some sand; not high in nutrients; ideal for backfilling walls and basements.

If you have your soil tested and it only needs one or two maybe three special nutrients we also carry fertilizers. Come in and talk with Kevin to see what is best for your yard and Gardens.