Gardening soil is a major factor in how well you can expect a garden to turn out. There are many types of gardening soils out there to choose from that may make it confusing to figure which type is the best choice for your garden. Consider what type of soil is in the garden area already and what type of garden you are planning before choosing a garden soil.
Be Sure to Use Soil with the Right pH Balance
Before you can decide which type of gardening soil to purchase, you need to be aware of what type of gardening soil the garden has to start with. Different areas of the country have very different soil. You can pay someone to test your gardening soil or you can do it yourself. Soil testing kits can be found at local gardening or hardware stores. These tests will be finding the pH balance of the soil.
Finding the pH balance at home can also be done using a few household items. Scoop some soil from the garden in to two different containers and add some vinegar to one. Bubbling means that the soil is alkaline. In the second container add water and then baking soda. Bubbling in this container means the soil is acidic. You will also need to look at the soil in your garden and observe if it is very sandy, rocky or has a lot of clay in it. Some gardening soil is made to counter balance too much sand or clay in the soil.
What Type of Garden Do You Want?
The type of soil needed varies based on what type of garden you are planning. Vegetable gardens need a lot of organic material in the soil, look for gardening soil that includes at least 20% organic material. Vegetable gardens also do not grow well in soil that includes a lot of clay because it does not aerate enough. Add gardening soil to the clay that is labeled for use with clay soil and will improve the soil.
For flower gardens, different plants require different types of soil just as they need different climates. Check the plants you plan on using to see what type of soil they grow best in. Container gardening requires a different type of soil as well. Container gardens need soil that will not compact in the container so topsoil or potting soil many times contains too much sand for these types of gardens. Container gardens do best with a peat soil. If you do decide to use a potting soil use one that drains well and has fertilizer added to it.
How To Choose From the Many Types of Topsoil
Topsoil is the most commonly used soil in gardening but most nurseries and home improvement stores carry a very wide variety that may make it hard to decide what is best. Check the labels to verify the amount of organic material and nutrients included in the topsoil. Topsoil that has very low levels of nutrients in it may be cheaper but it will not be as high quality.