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Some Terms to Understand When Choosing Soil and Dirt

by Martin Williamson

If you want to grow a healthy garden or have lush landscaping, you need to consider the type of soil or dirt on your property. Soil varieties may look alike to you, but these are often composed of many different ingredients, all of which affect how well things grow. It can be good to till the area of your property in which you'll be planting and add in some healthy soil and dirt or other additives, but it's also good to know what to look for in the right type of soil or additive. Note a few terms that can be good to understand in order to help you choose the best dirt and supplement for your property.

1. Peat moss

Peat moss comes from peat bogs, usually in the U.S. and Canada, and has a higher moisture content than other types of soil. It also helps to hold more oxygen in the soil. Peat moss can be a good choice for plants that thrive in a more acidic soil, such as azaleas, although it might be too acidic for many other varieties of flowering plants. Note the pH levels needed for what you want to plant and use peat moss where you need a higher acid content.

2. Pine bark

Pine bark is not a type of soil itself but is often added to soil to help with moisture retention. Pine bark comes from paper mills and is ground up and added to potting soil and topsoil in order to hold water and fertilizer in the soil. If you find that your soil has too much drainage to support vegetation and landscaping, you might add some pine bark to the soil.

3. Garden soil

Garden soil is like a potting soil that also has a mixture of sand, clay, and other such ingredients that help to keep it in place. When you use potting soil in a pot, the pot itself helps to keep the soil somewhat compact so it doesn't crumble or wash away. Garden soil doesn't have this surrounding container, so it may have sand or clay added so it stays firmer, something that's necessary in a garden where you might water the plants and soil more often than watering your lawn or a potted plant. Be sure you look for actual garden soil if you're adding new soil to an area where you'll be planting vegetation and avoid using potting soil.

For more information, talk with local soil and sand suppliers like Freds Lagoon Hardware