You’re ready to add to your landscape and prepared to purchase great fertilizer, too. After all, you don’t want your investment to fail. But there’s more to the foundation your plants need to thrive. Well-drained soil is absolutely necessary, but how do you create it?
Figuring Out the Foundation
Chances are, the soil in your yard is very sandy and full of clay. Most people in the greater-Houston region can say the same.
Because of the naturally condensed conditions we have in the region, it’s necessary to add materials to your soil for most plants to thrive.
Gardening can be deceiving. Perhaps you’ve researched, purchased the right plants for your yard based on the sunlight you get – and you even bought that fertilizer you saw advertised recently! What could go wrong!? Prepare yourself – the truth is, a lot.
There are so many factors to consider when gardening, which is part of what makes it such a challenging and entertaining hobby! It’s like an ongoing science experiment. But, the most important step in gardening is the very first one: the soil!
You must first create the best soil foundation possible for your plants to succeed.
Building a Better Soil
Seasoned gardeners refer to well-drained soil all the time – but what is it? Often times, when homeowners dig a hole to plant something new, they discard the soil dug from the ground. But that native soil is needed, so don’t get rid of it! Instead, use a wheel barrow to place the ground soil in while you’re working. Then, add in some cotton bur compost and expanded shale. You should have equal parts of all three materials in the wheel barrow. Mix thoroughly and voila, well-drained soil!
Expanded Shale = Magic
What is expanded shale? Expanded shale is a lightweight aggregate (similar to a rock), but heated at very high temperatures, so there are small pockets like popcorn. It helps break up heavy compacted soil to move air, water, and nutrients through the soil more efficiently.
Expanded shale is especially beneficial because it absorbs water during wet periods and later releases the moisture during dry times. So, it’s especially useful for gardens in the Houston area exposed to the extreme weather conditions we experience.
Don’t forget to add a high-quality organic root stimulator or fertilizer when you place new plants and trees in the ground. And, of course, thoroughly water in all your new additions.
Stop by the Garden Center or call 281-354-6111 to learn more or pick up some cotton bur compost and expanded shale. We’ll get you growing!