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Soil Amendments, Compost, and Mulch

Some gardeners may be blessed with perfect soil, but most of us garden in soil that is less than perfect. If your soil has too much clay in it, is too sandy, too stony or too acidic, don’t despair. Turning a poor soil into a plant-friendly soil is not difficult to do, once you understand the components of a healthy soil:

  • Minerals
  • Organic matter
  • Water
  • Air spaces
  • Soil life
  • Soil texture
  • Soil structure

If any of these components are missing, the growing potential will be compromised. If you are unsure about what your soil needs, our horticulturist or arborist will be happy to drop by to give you an opinion. It may be necessary to analyze samples of you soil or plant tissue at the lab, but we will determine how to improve it.
Regular application of compost (kitchen waste or commercial), fish fertilizer, manure, worm poo, or other organic fertilizer, will make your soil come to life, literally. The same soil microorganisms needed to convert soil into nutrients that plants can use, requires the steady supply of food to thrive, which compost provides. Compost and soil organisms give healthy soil it’s fluffy consistency, that provides the necessary spaces for air and water storage, and that can readily accommodate plant roots.

There are so many good purposes for landscape mulch. Primarily, homeowners use on garden beds to retain moisture and block weeds. It also makes great pathways that lighten the compaction on the ground as well as on your feet. Chips are a great moisture retainer around tree bases, and with thicker applications are actually used by arborists as a de-compaction pad for driving heavy machinery over tree roots during construction projects.
There are many different kinds of mulch, each individually pertinent to a variety of objectives. It is best to use a mulch from your local area, rather than imported from off the island. The most common mulch used on Vancouver Island is ground/shredded Douglas Fir bark. This is good for our local soils. All-in-all mulch has beneficial application to just about any property, and it helps the environment too.

Oakstead is just a call away if you would like us to deliver and spread some mulch for you; by the Pick-up truck or by the dump truck. Ph. 250-652-9223