How to Improve Soil Quality This Fall

hand dropping topsoil on a pile

For master landscapers, knowing how to improve soil quality is a top-tier skill. Treating your soil is the single most important thing you can do to improve your landscaping success and fall is the best season of the year to do it.

Better soil allows your garden to thrive. Keep in mind that soil that is less compact leads to healthier plant roots and better blooms. Also, plants with nutrient-rich soil can better fend off pests and diseases.

Adding compost to soil, nutrients, and raw organic matter over the fall will truly help bring your landscaping back to life in the spring. Read on to discover more of how to improve your soil quality this fall.

Add Quality Soil or Compost

Adding good quality soil to your lawn and garden beds will improve overall quality by adding beneficial bacteria, nutrients, and improving soil texture. Our triple-mix soil is specially formulated to improve the soil types in southern Ontario, which tend to need lightening and to be made more porous for better root growth and drainage.

You can also add compost to get some beneficial effects. How does compost improve soil? It adds nutrients which can promote plant health and support beneficial bacteria. It can also improve soil texture, depending on how much organic matter it contains.

Whether you’re adding new soil or compost, you should aim to do this in the fall. In particular, add a few inches around perennials yearly, as the nutrients will make their way down to their roots over time. In annual beds, you can mix in the soil more aggressively using a pitchfork.

Are you using composted animal manure?  Add only aged (or composted) manure to your garden if you have perennials. Otherwise, adding fresh manure in fall is fine.

An Organic Helping Hand

You can also improve your soil with organic fertilizers. Applying fertilizer to young plants can burn them, so applying in the fall is wise. It gives the fertilizer time to spread out. If you use time-released fertilizer, you can add it anytime. 

Some of your organic fertilizer options include:

  • Blood meal
  • Bone meal
  • Kelp meal
  • Greensand
  • Rock phosphate

You can mix them straight into your garden (or add around your plants), along with shredded leaves and compost. The greenery provides nitrogen to break down organic materials.

Lime for pH Balancing

Improving garden soil quality also involves balancing pH. A balanced pH ensures strong colour in your summer blooms. In the fall, add lime to raise the pH level. Add acidifiers like pine needles, elemental sulphur, and peat moss if your soil is too alkaline.

With a few tips, the right garden-enhancing materials, such as compost, and the right soil, learning how to improve soil quality is easy.

Want to know how to improve soil quality in your landscaping, specifically? Contact Van Beek’s Landscape Supply for professional advice and high-quality landscaping supplies.