Garden Tip: Good Soil for Beautiful Gardens

Gardening experts at Longfield Gardens help us understand why soil is so important.
Soil (dirt) is the foundation of your garden. It holds the nutrients and is the 'house' for the root systems. If you already have good soil that is rich in nutrients, dark in color and drains well, then you are well on your way to a beautiful garden! If you do not have good dirt, and if the planting site is in a good location (meaning it does not hold standing water), then you can make your garden foundation healthier with a couple of simple fixes.
If your soil looks dry and is composed mostly of clay (see above right), or if it's sandy and not holding together, you can add organic matter (compost) or black dirt to the soil.
Organic matter, like compost and peat moss, improves the water/nutrient holding capacity of sandy soil, loosens clay soil and improves the health of your plants. Your plants need nutrients, and a good texture will help water and air travel through the soil to the root system.

Three Steps to Healthy Soil
1. Choose organic matter or black garden soil available at your local garden center, hardware store or nursery.
2. Use a shovel, garden fork or rototiller to blend in your medium 4-6" deep. Be careful not to damage existing plant roots.
3. Plant quality bulbs, like those from Longfield Gardens, or plants and add 2" of mulch to help retain moisture. Starting with good soil will help you enjoy a beautiful gardening season!
The difference between good soil and bad soil is visually distinct. Good soil is rich and black.
The difference between good soil and bad soil is visually distinct. Clay soil is dry, clumpy and light in color.
PRO-MIX offers high quality growing mixes for the garden
Create a container for 4th of July with PRO-MIX potting mix
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Deanna Rubenow Deanna Rubenow on Mar 05, 2016
    What plants would work for a shallow planter built under my windows...annual with color are what I need...then also succulents in some of the planters. Gets sun about 5 hours in morning

Join the conversation
  • Kay Kline Kay Kline on Mar 31, 2015
    What is a good plant food for a Christmas cactus, it did not bloom this year. It looks fairly healthy but has some lighter green leaves.

  • Julie Julie on Apr 01, 2015
    I have had great success with Scott's Miracle Grow when using it on my annuals, so I'll be giving it a try on my Christmas Catus, as well. Apparently, a 20-20-20 fertilizer is what they need. Here is a video link that may be helpful! :)