Whether you are looking to improve your lawn, grow vegetables, or keep potted plants, a healthy, good-quality soil is a critical component of successful plant growth. Soils are comprised of biological, chemical, and physical properties. These three properties often overlap and interact with one another and can be measured to assess soil health. A few key characteristics that impact soil health are summarized below.
Biological Property: Organic Matter
Organic matter is the component of soil consisting of plant and animal residues in various stages of decomposition. In general, the higher the level of organic matter in the soil, the better the soil quality. Organic matter helps reduce soil compaction, improves water holding capacity, and helps retain plant nutrients and buffer changes in pH. If your soil is low in organic matter, you can amend it with compost, peat moss, manure, or other similar material.
Chemical Property: Nutrient Concentrations
High-quality soils will contain adequate concentrations of nutrients that are essential for plant growth, including nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, among others. Without these essential nutrients in the soil, plant growth can be severely impacted.
Physical Property: Texture
Soil texture refers to the proportion of the soil that is sand, silt, or clay particles. Texture is an important characteristic in a soil as it can impact water-holding capacity, drainage, compaction, and nutrient retention. In general, a soil that has a relatively equal mixture of sand, silt, and clay is preferred. A soil that is too coarse-textured (i.e., mostly sand) might have too low of a moisture-holding capacity, while a soil that is too fine-textured (mostly clay) might have issues with waterlogging.
NutriGrow is Western Canada’s largest manufacturer and bulk distributor of amended soils, composts, and mulches. NutriGrow has been manufacturing premium products since 2010. Rich in colour and nutrients, NutriGrow’s products are improving soil health, stability, and productivity across British Columbia. For more information, visit nutrigrow.ca.