Soil Amendments 101

Utilize these tips when selecting soil to get the best results in your yard.

Related To:

  1. Composting
  2. Gardening

• Composted manure and mushroom compost make great amendments for enriching your garden soil.

• Do a sniff test. Let your nose tell you if the contents smell like soil — fresh and free of garden chemicals or contaminants.

• Read the fine print. If the bag of soil says “use for filling holes,” do not buy for planting beds. Such soil usually doesn't support plant life.

• Don't amend the soil in your planting holes for trees unless your soil is extremely dense and compacted.

• When planting roses, plan on mixing the existing soil half and half with composted manure and mushroom compost.

• For raised beds, mix potting soil with a variety of organic materials, including compost, leaves and straw.

• One cubic foot of potting mix equals roughly 30 quarts, and it will fill 18 six-inch pots, three 10-inch pots and one 14-inch pot.

• Compost — made at home — is the best soil amendment you can apply.

Next Up

Composting 101

Learn the basics about composting and how this DIY soil amendment can benefit your garden.

Vermicomposting 101

Reduce household waste and create plant food with composting worms. Learn how with basic information about worm composting for home gardeners.

Soil Specifics

Learn how to check soil conditions and what kinds of characteristics "good" soil should have.

Tips for Compost Tools

To keep your composting process running smoothly, consider investing in some of these handy tools.

Capturing Water and Making a Compost Heap

Learn how to capture water from natural sources and start a compost pile from household scraps.

Simple Soil Tests

A few simple tests can determine what you need to do to help your soil and improve your gardening results.

How to Start a Compost Pile

Get expert advice for planning and beginning a new compost pile in your garden.

How to Make Compost

Learn about the simple ingredients and processes that allow you to make great garden compost at home.

How to Compost and the Different Types of Compost Bins

Learn about the different types of compost bins and what household items can be composted.

Soil Preparation for Perennials

Perennial plants live in the same place for many years, so it's important to start them out in good soil.

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