Best soil amendments

Getting your soil to work for you

Soil amendments for garden plants
Soil Amendments

Successful gardening depends on many factors, I have heard so many people say how they killed their plant that was brought from the plant nursery and they have no idea why this happened.

While it is so true, strange as it may sound there have been many persons that have had garden success and failure without even knowing why, for many it was sought of good luck but what we want, however, is not to have so call luck when it comes to plants but rather having the acquired knowledge that will pay of in the long run.

One important factor that plays a  big role in the life of a plant is the soil. Knowing your soil type and how to make improvements is the difference between garden success and failure.

Garden plants require different soil type in order to survive and the only way this can happen is knowing what your plant’s soil type is and making improvements.

Best soil amendments

The benefits of soil amendments

1. Soil amendments will help your garden soil to retain water.

2. Will cause your soil to be more porous meaning better drainage.

3. Soil amendments will make the soil more nutrient rich.

4. Will assist with better air circulation that is a plus for soil microbes.

5. Will help to bind soil particles together.

6. Can help to feed soil microbes that are an added benefit for your garden plants.

7. Soil amendments will reduce compaction.

8. Will improve the physical structure of the soil.

9. Soil amendments help to balance minerals.

10. Adding soil amendments will help you to water less.

Soil amendments for garden plants
Soil Amendments

Best soil amendments

Soil type

There are three soil type which are

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay

Loam contains all three of these soil type that makes it the ideal soil but because most home gardens lack one of the three it is necessary to add soil amendments to make your soil ideal for your plants in order to garden successfully.

Type of soil amendments

1. Peat moss is great for its water holding capacity.

2. Animal manures such as chickens, cows, and horse manure is great because the nutrient content is high.

3. Grass clippings are beneficial and can work wonders for your garden soil a word of warning, don’t use grass clippings that have been sprayed with herbicides.

4. Perlite is great especially when it is used for container gardening. Perlite is excellent when seeking to make your garden soil porous for drainage and proper air circulation.

5. Vermiculite is a porous material that also conditions the soil with good drainage and is an added bonus to retain water and fertilizer.

6. Products such as mulches and sawdust are great and can help to construct the ideal soil. These wood products also add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

7. Compost makes an excellent choice an will work wonders in your garden.

8. Worm casting is beneficial and will do your garden soil a whole lot of good.

These are just a few to consider when seeking to improve the quality of your garden soils.

This list is just a few of the best soil amendments that are available which can make a major contribution when it comes to conditioning your garden soil.

Best soil amendments

When choosing soil amendments factors to consider is

1. How long will the amendments last?

2. PH level of the soil amendments.

3. What is the salt content?

4. What is the soil texture?

5. Soil salinity.

How to incorporate soil amendments

When incorporating soil amendments with your garden soils for best results mix thoroughly with a garden shovel and the help of a pitchfork if preferred. Adding soil amendments is a safe and a natural way to give your garden plants what they need.

The final word

It does not matter if you have the ideal garden soil with soil amendments you can have much garden success as you build the almost perfect soil for your garden plants. So if you have not had much success because of poor garden soil then following this guide will bring you much garden success as your plants grow healthy and you reap a good harvest.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

20 thoughts on “Best soil amendments”

  1. I don’t have a green thumb at all, but came across your website as I was looking for possible reasons for my failure to keep even a succulent alive. I’ve never heard about soil amendments, and will definitely give a shot at incorporating them in the hopes of establishing some sort of a garden 🙂 Thanks so much!

    • Hello so good to meet you and I am so happy that I could help. Wishing you the best of success with your gardening. Have a good day.

  2. Hey Niman,

    I’ve been intrigued by soils after I got some unique plants for my birthday. Though there are still a lot that I have to learn, I realised that the garden at my house has a lot of worms now and my mum mentioned that it’s supposed to make the soil better. Eveytime i walk around the garden, I accidentally stepped on worms and the burrows they made, is this normal or is there a possibility that my garden my have too many worms?

  3. Great info to know.  Didn’t realize all the factors involved when making a choice of amendment.  While most home gardeners will probably stick to the commercial tried and true, options are always good.  Myself, I find horse manure to be of great value.  The plants (both indoor and outdoor) respond very quickly and end up with beautiful plants.  However, those darn little fruit gnats will drive you nuts and can kill a plant quickly.

    No matter what one uses, managing pests is also crucial to healthy plants.

    • Hello so happy that I could help and it is so good to meet you. Soil amendments are pretty amazing it is good to know that you are using horse manure which work wonders and I do agree with you with those garden pest but the good news is you can fight back and win the way on garden insect pest. Wishing you the best success.

  4. Thank you for this great article – you’ve really managed to point out a few factors that we had overlooked during the last summer months. 

    Myself and my partner had about a 50% success rate with the plants we bought to bump up our back garden over the summer. Problem was, it was extremely hot in the UK, and in Wales we’re not exactly used to that weather. After reading your article I’m thinking that the garden soil was probably not retaining enough water, due to the heat (and we knew nothing about soil amendments to cure this!). 

    Do you think this was probably the case?

    • So good to meet you. Soil amendments are pretty amazing and do benefit our garden soil in a great way. So happy That I could help. All the best of success with your garden project and have a good day.

  5. Hey Norman:

    Your point is well-taken that very often us gardening types tend to think of our adventures in growing stuff (or not) as a matter of luck rather than information and knowledge that can be learned and expanded on.  I do thank you for the explanations about what the most common amendments provide to the soil.  

    As my neighbor Les used to say, “Before you can grow good plants, you’ve gotta grow good soil.”  

    • Hello so nice to meet you. You are so right with the statement that you made, a part of gardening success is in the soil. So happy that I could help, all the best of success and have a good day.

  6. Thank you so much for the article. This could be the answer to my gardening struggle. Honestly, I never thought about soil amendments. Just bought some regular soil from supermarket – that’s it. My garden looks like a battlefield and new plants don’t survive very long. What would be the best amendment for a shadow garden?

    • Hello so happy to hear from you and I am so sorry to hear about your garden. Why not consider giving peat moss or horse manure a try. Please let me know how it goes. All the best of success and have a good day.

  7. At the beginning of the training programs on this community, I began to fall in love with searching for keywords to identify niche and to develop a keyword rich content focusing on my niche. I can see that well articulated in your article and you tied it together and you nailed it. A great article layout in a layperson perspective to understand about how to make the soil become useful to benefit us. If anyone looking around to make their backyard soil better, i will definitely refer them here. I am also learning great deal. Your images are outstanding and speak a ton of words. Great Job!

    • Hello so good to meet you and I am so happy that I could help and thanks a lot for your help and if I can return the favor please let me know. All the best of success and have a good day.

  8. I live in an area where there is probably heavy metal contamination in the soil because of 100 years+ of steel production in the area. I add compost and cover with straw to improve my garden soil, but I don’t think that does anything for heavy metals. Is there any soil additive that you are aware of which might help lesson that contamination? (It seems like I read an article once about earthworms processing heavy metals in dump sites, but I have no idea if they could help a garden with that! Do you?)

    • Hello so good to meet you and I am very sorry to hear of your issues with heavy metals. What I have discovered is that there are plants that are use in this process, plants such as sunflowers, mustard plant, poplar trees, water ferns, blue sheep fescue and many others. 

      What happens is that these plants pulls the toxins from the soil and stores them in their cells or converts them to less harmful chemicals the plants are then dispose of. This is a really neat and safe practice to clean your garden soil.

      Hope this helps, please let me know how it goes and wishing you the best of success with your garden project. Have a good day.

  9. Interesting! Never knew there was such a variety of soil amendments. So it seems these are even be better than just using fertilizer. I’ll be trying some of these suggestions like peat moss and Vermiculite. I have tried compost but I think the mulches with worm casting also makes a lot of sense. Do you think it’s better to try one soil amendment at a time without fertilizer or are combinations better depending on the plant type? Thanks.

    • Hello so,happy that I can help. Soil amendments are pretty amazing and can benefit us is in so many ways. Why not try giving horse manure a try first and see what happens. Please let me know how it goes. All the best of success and have a good day.

  10. Hi Norman, Thanks for this very informative article on soil amendments. You clearly put a lot of research into coming up with this article in which I myself and anybody else would benefit from reading this article and gain some important point to help their garden become a success and reap good harvests.

    • Hello so,happy to meet you and I am so happy that I could help, thanks so much for your kind words. All the best of success and have a good day.


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