Promoting healthy growth – Soil

To give your lawn, flower beds and potted plants the very best chance of healthy growth, it’s important to pay attention to soil.

First of all, consider the existing soil in your garden. For best results, you need to know what type of soil you have and also its pH value – DIY pH testing kits are available to buy at most local garden centres and are very easy to use. A neutral pH (i.e. not too acidic or alkaline) is pH level 7, and a reading of 6.1 to 7 is considered a very good general-purpose pH for gardens. Once tested, it is easy to adjust the pH of your soil, if necessary.

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Laying turf?

If you are laying turf, it’s important that your soil is a sandy loam with a pH of around 6-7. Our Premium Grade Soil is ideal – it has a suitable pH, and comprising 50% top dressing (screened to 6mm) and 50% organic green compost (screened to 10mm), will give your turf everything it needs to establish healthy growth.

Before laying the turf, you need to prepare soil to a depth of 6 inches. The area should be dug up or rotovated to ensure that any soil compaction is broken up. If your soil quality is poor, consider adding a soil improver to improve the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil (this can even be added to our Premium Grade soil, if desired). Our Soil Improver is ideal and will correct any deficiencies in soil structure, enhance drainage, water and air holding properties, and will promote healthy growth of grass (and plants!).

To create an even and firm foundation (free of weeds, stones, and vegetation), use a light roller or tread the soil down. Finish with raking the area with a fine tilth. We’ll follow up with a complete step-by-step turf-laying guide soon, so stay tuned!

Lawn not looking it’s best?

To improve the appearance of your lawn, use a nutrient-rich lawn Top Dressing. Screened to 6mm, our incredibly fine lawn Top Dressing can be raked onto grass or sprinkled over bare patches to promote growth, enhance drainage and level out surfaces. If seeded, our lawn Top Dressing helps turf to regenerate extremely quickly.

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Planting beds?

pH is also an important consideration for plants, although it’s not usually necessary to do anything unless specific plants dislike lime. Again, a pH testing kit and a basic knowledge of plants is all you need to ensure your beds are healthily (soils with pH lower than 7 are usually found in moist climates). Our Premium Grade soil and Soil Improver are perfect for flower beds and potted plants.

Generally, garden soil should be well draining and loose, and not too heavy (like clay soil) or sandy.  Soil depth should be at least 8 inches. Before planting, use a garden fork or tiller to loosen soil, and always rake the surface smooth and level. If you’re really struggling with soil that is just too hard, you can make raised beds. To do this, put a good quality soil on top of the ground – the deeper the better!