5 Questions to Ask When Buying Gardening Soil

Are you planning to buy some soil to use in your garden at home? Below are some important questions that you should ask when selecting the most appropriate soil for your project.

What Is Its pH?

Different plants require different levels of acidity or alkalinity in the soil in which they grow. Always find out the pH of the soil on sale so that you are sure it will meet the needs of your plants.

What Nutrients Does It Have?

It is also necessary for you to know the nutrient content of any gardening soil that you intend to buy. Pay special attention to the proportion of the major nutrients that are utilised by plants. These are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. This nutrient breakdown will enable you to know what soil amendment you may need to perform later on.

What Organic Materials Does It Contain?

Gardening soil normally contains some organic materials, such as compost, bio-solids, woody materials or animal manure. The specific organic matter used can prompt you to ask additional questions. For example, where were the bio-solids processed from? This follow-up question will help you to confirm that no bio-hazard exists in case the wastewater was treated at a regulated facility.

How Much Clay Is Present?

Clay causes soil to have a higher ability to retain water. However, too much clay can have negative effects. For example, the soil can easily form a hardpan if it is walked on frequently. Aeration can also become difficult since the clay soil particles are closely packed together. It is therefore wise for you to make sure that the gardening soil that you buy has a minimal proportion of clay, such as a maximum of 20 percent so that those potential adverse effects of clay will be minimised.

Was It Screened For Heavy Metals?

Make sure that you see the analysis results for the presence of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead or cadmium. Never buy any gardening soil that has not been screened and found to be free from heavy metals since they can contaminate the food that you intend to grow.

You should never select gardening soil randomly. Use the questions above to narrow down the soil supplies to those that will meet your needs. You can ask an expert at a company that sells soil and sand supplies for help during this process in case you need clarifications on some of these questions. They can also assess your plants and determine the best soils to use.