Explained: Soil Terms

People hire professional landscapers to make their yards look as beautiful as possible, but looks aren’t everything. A wonderfully designed garden, lawn, or flower bed will lose its beauty quickly if the grass and plants aren’t receiving proper nutrients. Our company puts great thought into the types of soil we use for each project, and each situation may require a custom solution. Keep reading to learn more about the most common types of soil we use for our customers and why they’re most effective for different types of projects.

 

What is Soil?

Soil is made up of minerals, rock, organic material, gas, and water, all of which create an ideal environment for plants to grow and thrive. There are three different types of soil: sand, clay, and silt. Sand is made up of large particles and has poor water retention. Clay is dense and made of very fine particles, which retains water well, but takes longer to dry. Silt is made up of both large and fine particles and is typically rich in nutrients and minerals.

 

Pulverized Topsoil

Topsoil is made up of healthy nutrients taken from the top layer of soil and contains organic matter that effectively holds moisture and creates a microbial-rich environment for proper plant growth. Pulverized topsoil is run through a large grinder to make it lightweight and easy to maneuver. This method also removes most debris, such as sticks, rocks, sand, and to ensure that the topsoil is of good quality.

Pulverized topsoil is best for walkways, patios, or filling in holes in lawns. However, it’s not a good idea to use in gardens or flower beds, because it becomes mushy and dense when it gets wet.

 

Garden Compost

Compost is a mixture of decomposing nutrient-rich soil that is made up of organic matter, such as oxygen, bacteria, water, and other materials like food products, lawn clippings, and dry leaves. The materials break down and the rich soil is then used to refresh depleted soil in the springtime when it’s time to plant new crops. Compost has a very high nutrient content, and the nutrients provide a slow-release, creating an ideal environment for new plants.

Compost is great for many different uses, mixing it into the soil to improve nutrient quality, and spreading it directly into an aerated lawn. Many people use it to mix into the soil in gardens because many different types of fruits, vegetables, and plants benefit from the nutrient density in compost.

 

Soil Conditioner Amendment

Bad soil can create a range of different problems for people trying to keep their gardens or lawns lush and green. You can be dealing with hard pan or compacted soil, soil with a high amount of clay or sand, dead or malnourished soil, or even soil with a high or low PH. Soil conditioner is added to soil to improve the soil’s structure by increasing water retention, aeration, and nutrients, and balancing the PH levels.

Unlike fertilizers, which also add nutrients to the soil, soil conditioners can actually change the structure of the soil. For example, if you’re dealing with clay or compacted soil, the nutrients from fertilizer will get stuck and not properly nourish plants. Before purchasing fertilizer, it’s best to do a soil test to find out the root of the problem, use a soil conditioner to correct the issue, and then move forward with a proper fertilization program.

 

If you have any questions about the different types of soil we use, we welcome you to reach out to us and ask questions!