April 01 2022 – Elliot Gregory
Whether you are potting your very first houseplant or budgeting for a major landscaping project, everything begins— and can potentially end—with the soil. Here are the basics you need to know to have a successful season.
Garden soil amendments
Soil amendments maintain the integrity of your soil by adding valuable organic matter. This matter breaks down into humus (HYOO-məs)—the organic component of soil—and improves the ability of a soil to retain water and nutrients. Humus helps soil particles bind together to form structure in which water, air, and roots can move freely. Humus also feeds beneficial soil microbes and fungi which in turn break down and transport nutrients to a plant’s roots.
How to amend your soil
Work amendments into existing soil as deeply as possible without disturbing existing roots. Watson’s recommends ⅓ compost to ⅔ soil when planting.
E.B. STONE™ ORGANICS PLANTING COMPOST
An all-purpose outdoor planting mix blended for use in all soil types and for all types of outdoor gardening.
E.B. STONE™ ORGANICS MIXES
These are for specific plant needs (azaleas, camellias, and acid-loving plants; roses and flowers; or flower and vegetable).
Topping your soil
Plant your beds with a top layer of compost, topping dressing, or mulch. This significantly helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and feed the soil. We recommend the following:
NORTHWEST BEST© SOIL BUILDER AND TOP DRESSING (2 FOR $15)
This baby is 100% organic and has the ability to break up heavy soil to add drainage, and retains moisture in dry soil. It’s great for cultivating annual or vegetable gardens.
E.B. STONE ORGANICS™ BARK MULCHES
Mulches add important, long lasting organic matter to your soil. They improve water penetration and aeration (letting your plants’ roots get to the nutrients). Mix with native soil or use as mulch throughout the garden. For best results add a 1-to 2-inch layer of top dressing or fine mulch to your garden bed. Coarser mulch or bark should be 3 to 4 inches deep.
Potting soil mixtures are specially formulated for containers to enhance root development and provide excellent drainage.
NORTHWEST BEST© POTTING SOIL (2 FOR $22)
We love this soil-less potting mix. Made with peat moss, fir bark, earthworm castings, pumice, and humus, it balances the needs for moisture retention and aeration.
E.B. STONE ORGANICS™ RAISED BED AND POTTING MIX (2 FOR $22)
We think of this as a premium soil for any raised bed or pot. It can be used by itself or mixed with garden soil. It has rich compost for nutrients, coir (coconut fiber) for holding moisture in the root zone, naturally-aged forest fiber for feeding soil microbes and organic matter, volcanic pumice that drains away excess water, and beneficial microbes that enhance your plants’ root zones.
E.B. STONE ORGANICS™ EDNA’S BEST POTTING SOIL (2 FOR $25)
This natural and organic blend makes a superior mix for container gardens, indoor or outdoor. Moisture retention? Check. Air-filled pore space to encourage root growth? Check. They even add Yucca schidigera saponin, a natural wetting agent, allowing the mix to rehydrate with each watering.