"The grass is green and the rose is red ... ." Sounds familiar? Rings a bell? Well, this line is from the very famous nursery rhyme that you and your friends would hum along and play. Those were the days, indeed, when this line carried meaning. However, it could be altered to suit the present situation, "The grass is gray and the rose is dead!" The first version sounds pleasing, the second, painful. The current scenario of the environment is depressing. It, no more, has green fluff to flaunt, only grays to hide. If this description sketches a picture of your garden state as well, then here is one solution: Soil conditioner. Make your garden green, and gift yourself the beauty of nature. After all, your garden greens contribute to making the environment switch from gray to green!
Types of Soil Amendments
It is now a known fact that soil conditioners are beneficial no end. However, what matters is the quantity of conditioner applied to meliorate the soil. Let us instate that excess application of the conditioner may result in sinister consequences; i.e., it may serve punitive for plant health. Content of nitrogen, salts, and other nutrients, when present in excess, may prove counterproductive for the environment. Rest assured, for when soil conditioners are added optimally, they reap ample benefits.
Sphagnum Peat Moss
This is one trusted soil amendment. From horticulturists to doting gardeners; they swear by the potent properties of sphagnum peat moss. This conditioner does a good turn to your soil by retaining adequate moisture. Sphagnum peat moss is voted highly effective, when coupled with heavy clays, thereby helping the soil gain a fine texture, in the process, controlling the degree of compaction, too. It works well with sandy soil, helping it to retain optimum moisture. Sphagnum peat moss has low pH levels that inadvertently acidifies the soil, prepping it for plants that require acidic soil to facilitate growth.
Senescent manure makes all the difference, when added to flower gardens and shrubs used to profile walkways. The reason fresh manure is not used in gardens is the high levels of ammonia. The presence of pathogens also makes fresh manure unfit for use. Thus, using old manure (i.e., six to seven months old) and composting it for the stipulated period obviates the problem of pathogens.
Pine Bark Humus
This is plausibly one amongst the top-grade products bearing semblance to saw dust. Pine bark humus befits clay soil, what with the fine texture that helps compacted soils, like clay, to optimally loosen up in order to facilitate drainage of excess moisture. When coupled with sphagnum peat moss, pine bark humus becomes highly favorable to be added to soils, preparing for plantation.
Constructing your own compost bin and using the byproduct to nourish your soil is one fiscally compatible idea to go by. A lot of things may be entertained in the compost bin: dried leaves, scrap, food waste, animal excreta, to name a few. However, you may find the texture of your compost conditioner not very uniform. Bottom line: It does not greatly benefit the textural structure of your garden soil; at least not the way other conditioners do.
Soilless Potting Conditioner
A soilless potting mix is considered better than soil, as it consists ingredients, such as sphagnum peat moss, perlite, coir, and vermiculite. Potting soilless mix -- as the name suggests -- is ideal for indoor containers. The mix may also be used for your green expanse; however, the choice may be expensive to endure as well. The soilless potting mix prepares your land by increasing its fertility, thereby also providing nourishment to plants.
What Is It Used For?
- Besides the soil conditioner being the fountainhead of maintenance and health, it is also employed to configure the structure of the soil. As time elapses, soil clumps up and becomes unfit for use. These conditioners are designed to loosen up the soil and make it suitable for plants to boom and flowers to bloom with health.
- With the passage of time, soil also tends to lose its nutrient levels. These conditioners replenish the nutrients into the soil system that encourages plants to grow healthier and glossier in appearance.
- It is also of great help, when soil becomes dry. It enriches the soil by improving its power of water retention, thereby working positively on the texture and the quality of the soil.
- The conditioner could be added to conform with regards to plant requirement. The soil pH could be varied to make acidic or alkaline soil, keeping the soil-plant compatibility in mind.
Why Use Soil Conditioner ...
.. For Lawns
- Soil conditioners could be in the form of compost (you must know the various methods of composting so that a good compost could be added to your garden), sphagnum peat moss (a vital component in formulating soilless potting mix), coir, vermiculite, lime, chemical fertilizers, organic conditioners, such as seaweed, manure, and bone meal.
- Mulching is one method, where mulches increase its water retention prowess for plants to turn out healthy.
Organic fertilizers strengthen plants and promote organic gardening.
- Organic conditioners for lawns could either be administered in dry, powdery form, or they could be used in liquid form by applying the fertilizer with the foliar spray. They are conditioners that are best administered, when sprayed directly on the surface of the plant.
- Conditioning the soil for the lawn could be beneficial if you don't overdo it. It may not prove helpful and may damage the well-being of the plant. It is suggested that the conditioner be added in moderation to the garden soil.
.. For Clay Soil
- Soil conditioner could be a vital ingredient, as clay content can compact the soil. This makes the soil unfit for use. Thus, soil needs to have a good drainage system in place to prevent water logging that make plants look lifeless.
- Adding organic material in clay soil can help the soil to clump less. Dried leaves, sphagnum moss, and bone meal could be added to the clay soil to make it loose and fit for use.
With a little, yet significant effort, you will have a landscape design worth cherishing for a lifetime. Do remember that the grass should always be green! Make greenery a reality once again, and give it meaning ... yet again.