Most people here in San Antonio, aren’t all too thrilled with their soil. Most of us have alkaline soil. And to plant straight into alkaline soil without amending it is not the best option for most plants (most natives and some others excluded). So what’s a want-to-be-gardener with bad soil to do? They come to Rainbow Gardens to get their soil amendments for building their soil.
A FEW THINGS ABOUT SOIL BUILDING AND SOIL AMENDING
- The best thing to add to your soil to improve it, is organic matter: Organic matter can come in the form of adding compost, sphagnum peat moss, finely shredded pine bark mulch, earthworm castings, bat guano, and many others. Organic matter breaks down overtime, providing nutrients for plants to take up through their roots. The more organic matter added, the more nutrients created, the healthier the soil, the healthier the plant. We can’t say it enough, “You’re garden soil is not just dirt!”
- Know how deep your soil needs to be for plant variety: When you know the optimal depth your desired type of planting requires you can measure what you have and see how much amending you need to do. Ex: Turf can usually get by with a soil depth of 2-4” as its foundation; veggie gardens need at least 15”-18” of total soil. It helps us at Rainbow Gardens to know what you plan to grow to offer you what you need to amend your soil. If you can’t dig down to dig the depth required, build up! A raised bed can give you the extra inches you were lacking for a successful planting site.
- Know what type of soil your plant NEEDS to survive: Notice the word “needs” is capitalized up there. That’s because I wasn’t saying, “What you want to give it”. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic soil so they benefit from any amending you can do. But if you fall in love with a plant that NEEDS a strong, acidic soil (total opposite of our alkaline soil in San Antonio) are you willing to spend the money to constantly replenish your garden beds with amendments and specialized fertilizers to try and get the result you want? It can turn into a lot of work. We recommend opting for plants that don’t need quite as much work and are mostly happy with just a refresh of a few inches of compost tilled in each spring and fall? (SAWS WaterSaver plants fit this description.) If you decide the second option sounds easier, take it, top it with mulch and have more time to enjoy your gardens.
- Get a soil test for truest results: If want to know exactly what your soil is lacking, get it tested. Enough said.
Rainbow Gardens is stocked with bagged goods of soil amendments, mulches, and all your other needs to build your soil to make it the happiest place on earth for all of your plants. Come on in and let us help you with what you need.