The health of your garden is largely dependent on the health of your soil. When choosing or altering your soil, here are some things to consider.
Which Soil Is Best for My Garden?
Soil Composition: The Basics
Generally speaking, there are three elements that make up your soil: silt, sand, and clay. By knowing the unique benefits and limitations of these elements, you can alter the levels to find the perfect balance for your garden.
Sandy soil offers excellent drainability and neutral pH. This helps to avoid root rot which is caused by too much moisture in the soil. Plants like blanket flower and butterfly weed prefer dry, sandy soil. Clay soil retains moisture well (often too well) and offers minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium to your garden. Black-eyed susans and bee balm do particularly well in clay soil. Silty soil has high fertility but becomes waterlogged and can easily erode away.
Loam soil has a healthy balance of silt, sand, and clay reaping the benefits of each while neutralizing the downfalls of each soil type. Loam soil retains minerals and moisture well while providing healthy drainage. This is the ideal soil you should seek for your garden. Depending on what you would like to plant in your garden, you can alter the percentages of sand to clay to silt and mix other additives such as peat, compost, or humus.
Best Soil for Flower Gardens
Most flowers will thrive in a sandy loam soil due to its excellent drainage properties, especially if you plan to plant bulbs which often fall victim to root rot. Ideally, you will want to mix a 1:1:1 ratio of compost, peat, and a healthy loam topsoil for best results.
Best Soil for Vegetable Gardens
To create a healthy soil for vegetable gardening, you’ll need to amend the clay soil that is commonly found here locally with sand to improve drainage. The ideal mixture for vegetable garden soil would be 50% compost and 50% topsoil.
Seek the Help of a Professional in Raleigh, NC
Before you attempt to improve the soil composition in your garden, schedule a free consultation at Redwood Land Design. We offer Landscape Design in Raleigh, NC, and can help you analyze the current health of your soil. Give us a call today to get started.