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Potting Soil » How To Make Potting Soils

The Soil Benefits

The most important element in determining a garden's success is according to experts its soil. Paying attention to soil quality dramatically improves the odds of producing healthy, verdant plants.

As gardeners have categorized the three basic types of soil, these included clay-based, sand-based and loam-based. Loam-based soils are considered the ideal since they provide a consistency that allows most plants to thrive. Loam consists of 20 percent clay, 40 percent sand and 40 percent silt. But if the soil of your own garden contains too much sand or clay, there is no reason air: adding amendments will allow you to tailor the soil to successfully meet the needs of your plants.

Soil classification is a contentious subject, from the structure of the classification system itself, to the definitions of classes and types, and finally in the application in the field. Every classification system starts with its own individual definition of soil. The essential problem is that soils do not reproduce or have DNA like living organisms, so no "objective" criteria can be used to choose among classifications. The most qualified specialists in the world can and do spend hours arguing about a soil's classification. Thus, instead of fighting it is better to assess its quality.

First, begin by assessing the existing soil quality. The soil that contains too much clay will have a wet, sticky consistency with large clumps. The problem with clay-based soils is their prevention of sufficient air flow, but their high nutrient levels make them an important part of a good soil mix. Sand-based soils, on the other hand, will exhibit a light, granular texture as shown in. The drawback with sandy soil is that while it allows ample drainage and air flow, it's low on nutrients. Loam, which is the best type of soil, will exhibit a rich dark color and have a light texture with just a hint of stickiness that allows it to hold nutrients. Even in gardens with loam-based soils, however, mixing in a bit of clay-based and sand-based soil will help ensure a nutrient-rich, evenly aerated consistency.

Once you've established a great base soil in your garden, the next step is to add organic material to increase existing nutrient levels. Whatever amendment you select to nourish your garden-compost, grass clippings, ground-up leaves, etc.-be sure to consistently monitor the soil quality and add new amendments as needed.

Soils are also affected by human habitation. People can alter soils to make them more suitable for plant growth through the addition of organic materials and natural or synthetic fertilizer, and by improving their drainage or water-retaining capacity. Human actions also can degrade soils through the depletion of nutrients, pollution, soil contamination, and soil compaction, and by increasing the rate of erosion, which is the relocation of soil through the movement of water or wind.

Thus, keep in mind that whatever you do might have an impact to the overall appearance of your garden. Planting in containers is different than planting in the garden and therefore demands a different type of soil. Since water tables and other conditions in containers are unlike those in the ground, the best option for container plants is a high-quality potting mix (generally not the least expensive). Using this medium for your potted plants will ensure that they thrive at the same level as your garden plants.

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Gardening, Society, and Employment

Source: www.articlealley.com