Guide to Soil Amendment

Spring Hill Nursery's gardening expert reveals how amending your soil before planting can improve your plants' health and performance. Find out some quick and easy to follow ways of amending the soil in your garden bed and learn how you can put all the unwanted rocks in the soil to good use.


Hi, I'm Debbie with Spring Hill and today we're going to talk about the importance of amending your soil. If your plant isn't performing as well as you hoped it would, and you seem to be following all the directions on the tag--giving it plenty of sun, following the water requirements, maybe, your problem is soil amending. So, let's talk about the importance of this. You know, there's an adage that says you don't ever want to put a twenty-dollar plant in a fifty-cent hole. What exactly does that mean? Well, I'll show you right here, in my own garden. Now last night, my husband and I spent some time amending this soil. But I'm going to show you this section that's not amended. Look at these big rocks that are coming out, and, the native soil that we have here, it's a sticky clay. This is not an inviting environment for any plant. So, what you want to do is, you want to take this oil and amend it with organic matter such as compost, peat moss or well-rotted manure, or even some pine bark. Now, you want to spend a rally good time doing this. Typically, in any new bed that we have, ninety-percent of the time that we spend is amending the soil, and then the plants just pop right in. So, you see we pulled all of these rocks out of just this four-foot section, so obviously, amending was a very important thing to do. But then you think, what do I do with all these rocks that I just pulled out of here. Well, there's a few things you could do. You could wash them all down and actually look for an area in your yard that could use a dry river bed, maybe on a slope. Or, what you could do is put them at the bottom of a container like this. You know, if I want to plant something in this container, I don't necessarily need all of this depth of soil, so I don't want to waste good potting soil. So, perhaps, if I take some of these rocks and put them at the bottom, what I'll do is stabilize this pot a little bit better if it's windy outside, but I'm also going to be creating good drainage coz the soil will go down about half way and then the rocks will help the water to drain. So, there are benefits for pulling all these rocks out of your soil, but the most important benefit is the health of the plants that will be going into this new bed. They will thank you throughout the season with tons of blooms!