Soil amendments are nutrients that you can add to your soil to modify their pH levels. By adding soil amendments, you are also making the nutrients in your soil more readily available for plants to uptake. Soil amendments can also help with drainage, overall structure, and water retention.
In short, yes they can. However, it is important to know what kind of amendments that you should add to your soil depending on what it may be lacking. One simple way to understand pH level or lack of nutrients is to take a sample of your soil for a pH test. Testing kits are readily available at most lawn and garden stores. Aside from the pH of your soil, amendments may be needed or can be helpful if you have hard packed clay or very rocky soil.
There are several types of amendments available to you depending on the needs of your lawn and soil. You can also add soil amendments to your flower and plant beds to help add nutrients there as well.
Compost is considered one of the very best options for soil amendment and is something that you can generate at home by recycling natural food and landscaping scraps. Typically, adding compost to your soil will act as a fertilizer and can be a great fit for flower beds to add nutrients and increase bloom. It can also green up your grass. Other fertilizing soil amendments include nitrogen fertilizer, manure, and peat.
Sand can be used in landscaping both as a leveling tool, as well as a soil amendment for areas heavy in clay. However, when considering adding sand to your clay soil, one must consider the amount of sand that would be needed in order to be effective. Adding a thin layer of sand to your clay soil will in fact just make it more compact, almost as if a cement has been created. In order to truly make a difference, about 6″ of sand would need to be mixed into the clay. This can amount to quite a bit of product and labor.
Potash is a natural soil amendment that is rich in potassium. It should be added to soil that has an alkaline pH level. It is not commonly added to your lawn soil, but rather is typically used in the soil in and around plant beds. Ornamental trees and shrubs or flowering plants that thrive in acidic soil, will not do well with potash added. It should be added to lower the acidity of soil.
Lime is a widely popular and valuable soil amendment that is commonly used. Similar to potash, lime is added to soil to raise the pH level and acid-loving plants will not appreciate it as much. Lime is often added to lawn soil and can in the right conditions, greatly improve the growth of your turf.
Your landscaping pro should be able to help you identify when and where soil amendments are needed. Do you have questions or need help with your lawn? Canopy would love to help!