Garden Soil Oakville
Did you know that a handful of garden soil contains more living organisms than there are people on this planet? Good gardening soil is deep, loose, fertile and well-drained, both internally and on the surface. It also has plenty of organic matter and is free of weeds and diseases.
There are five basic kinds of garden soil:
- Clay soil – Very few plants can survive in heavy clay garden soil as it doesn’t allow room for much air.
- Sandy soil – This soil has trouble holding moisture and nutrients for plants.
- Silt soils – Somewhere between clay soil and sandy soil, silt soil is very beneficial for gardening.
- Peat soil – While it is rich in organic matter, peat soil is too acidic for most plants.
- Saline soil – Found in arid climates, this type of soil is very alkaline and infertile.
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right type of garden soil for your garden.
Analyze the soil conditions
The ground in Southern Ontario varies greatly, and success depends on having a growing surface with enough moisture and nutrients for your plants. For example, in areas such as Mississauga, Oakville and other suburbs south of Toronto, the ground contains different degrees of clay and sand.
Depending on your existing soil, you may need to choose garden soil that will complement or balance your existing conditions to improve the health of your plants.
Choose your topsoil
In the past, a variety of products have been used to improve garden soils by breaking up existing clay and sand, but many of these products introduce chemicals into our food, air and groundwater supply.
These days, organic garden topsoil is a key solution. Topsoil mixed with organic compost and other natural fibres (known as a triple mix) is an excellent way to break up clay and sand and allow for moisture and nutrients to be maintained. An organic mulch can even be added to provide additional protection against insects and weeds.
Our famous Van Beek’s ‘triple mix’ soil is a unique combination of topsoil, fibre and compost, but we also recommend Premium Topdressing as well as various custom mixes for specific conditions, and high fibre and high-quality composts to revitalize old soil.
In most cases, one of the following garden soil mixes will fit your specific needs:
- Organic top soil that has been naturally sterilized to eliminate weeds.
- Organic compost that can reintroduce nutrients, moisture and oxygen into soil that is heavy with sand or clay.
- Topdressing that combines top soil and organic fibre to create a growing surface suited for seeding.
- A triple mix that combines topdressing with organic compost for proven results in this area.
Consider your planting and potting strategies
Once you’ve decided what type of soil you need, the following types of planting and potting strategies are helpful to keep in mind:
- Need to revitalize existing soil? Use a high-fibre, high quality compost if the sand and clay level is relatively low and you’re looking to revitalize existing soil.
- Seeding? Choose a premium topdressing that is a 50/50 mix of top soil and fibre to create a top layer that is more beneficial for seeding.
- Dealing with a lot of sand and clay? Pick a triple mix that combines soil, fibre and compost to fully break up and revitalize dirt that is heavy with sand and clay.
- Have unique soil conditions? Consult with a local expert who can recommend and prepare custom planting and potting mixes according to your specific needs.
Keep your soil
top of mind
Here are some tips to continuously improve the quality of gardening soils for years to come:
- For the best garden soil use a wide variety of organic matter to boost the nutrient content and fertility of the soil.
- Add livestock manure to provide essential nitrogen to the garden soil. However, avoid overusing manure as it can provide excess amounts of some nutrients, like phosphorous.
- Regular use of compost (about one-quarter inch per season) can improve your garden soil’s water retention.
- Plant cover crops (like legumes) to improve the fertility and structure of your garden soil.
- Avoid tilling your garden soil excessively because over tilling is detrimental to soil life. Instead, use mulch to keep the soil covered.
Van Beek’s Landscape Supply has been providing gardening solutions to communities like Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Mississauga since 1962. We know what works best for your garden. For reliable products, genuine customer service and some good, sound advice on gardening, get in touch with us today.