60January 7, 2015

It’s the soil. If I had a nickel for every time that I told that to a customer, I would be retired on my own South Sea Island.
Since 1974, I have been working in the lawn and garden industry. In all those years, I have had many customers who have tried to start the perfect lawn. The customer will put down fertilizer, lime and the best grass seed. The lawn will start to grow and then once the summer comes around, the lawn dies. They will come to talk to me about the problem and once we have eliminated proper watering then the answer is that it is the soil. I will ask them to go home and take a shovel and push the shovel into the ground the depth of the blade. I ask them to pop out a soil sample the depth of the blade. I ask that they put that soil sample into a cardboard box and then to bring the soil in to be looked at for the quality of the soil. 99.9% of the time there is sand, clay or other substandard soil that makes up the top 6 inches of soil. If the soil isn’t 6 inches of good quality loam, you are not going to get the lawn to grow properly. It’s the soil.

In gardening, it pays to have good quality soil. Plant roots have sufficient room to grow. Good quality soil holds moisture and it also holds nutrients. If you try to grow any plant in a poor quality soil, you are not going to get the results that you want. This applies to the potting soil that you use in your window boxes or hanging baskets, it applies to the soil in your vegetable garden, it applies to the soil you plant your trees and shrubs into and it applies to the soil in your flowerbeds. If you don’t have good soil, you have inferior plants.

Now is a good time of the year to think about the plants that you grow in your yard. If you kept the plants watered properly and if you kept the plants fertilized properly and those plants still didn’t grow the way you wanted them to grow, the odds are that it is probably the soil that the plants are growing in that is causing the problem. If you make a mental note to check the quality of the soil in the early spring, then you have a chance to improve the quality of the soil before the growing season really gets under way.

The quality of the soil in your containers and in your gardens is the major factor in how well your plants will grow. If you take some time in the spring to “fix ‘ your soil, then you will have happier and healthier plants in your gardens.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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