Soils and Mulches for Landscaping Perfection

What could be more important than soil? Every plant needs good soil. But what exactly is good soil? Here, you’ll learn about that, and also about mulches and soil amendments, all of which have immediate and lasting benefits.

Good soils contain plenty of nutrients to keep plants growing, but a good soil isn’t too rich, because that could burn the plant’s roots. Depending on the situation, you may need soil with a lot of drainage or the other way around. A good soil also doesn’t compact too much, because compacted soil is harder for roots to grow through.

You can always make good soil yourself through composting and other good practices, but if you’re not experienced with that, it will take a lot of time and guesswork. So, if you don’t have the resources to make your own, you can find a lot of high-quality soils, amendments, and mulches available to improve your soil.

One type of soil you’ll find on the market is potting soil. This type of soil is specialized to work effectively in containers or pots. It is formulated to enhance root development and provide efficient drainage without becoming compacted. Potting soil is good for planting in containers or pots, but not the best for plants that are put right into the ground.

On to soil amendments and mulches. While these are both additives to raw soil, amendments are mixed into the soil, while mulches are spread on top, similarly to how cinnamon might be mixed into a bread’s dough while jam is spread on the top. Both of these improve our figurative bread in different ways, and the same goes for soil, mulches and amendments.

Many raw soils aren’t very good for planting without some help. For instance, clay soils are very compact, and sandy soils lose water quickly. Amendments can solve both of these problems.

Mulching helps to retain water and keep down weed growth. Any weed seeds that would be germinating when you put the mulch down will fail to, with the mulch blocking their sunlight. New seeds will happily germinate on the mulch, but these can easily be tugged out and tossed away.

Don’t expect your plants to like your raw soil. Especially when plants are getting established, they need good soil. So look for a soil amendment that fits your situation and mix it in. Add some fertilizer depending on the plant. Then add some mulch to keep the weeds down and the ground hydrated. And watch your plant thrive!

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Tips for a Dog-Friendly Garden

Barking Up The Right Tree?

Gardens can be a very nice thing to have around, and if you’re survival-minded, they can help produce food that you don’t have to buy, too. But, gardens and dogs don’t always get along on the best of terms. At Steve Myers & Son Nursery, we want to make sure everything goes just as planned, so we’ve got some tips to help you make your garden as dog-friendly as possible.

Plants And Why To Like Them (Or Not)

When it comes to dogs, some plants are just fine, and others… not. Let’s go over which plants you can plant just fine in a dog-friendly garden, and which ones might give your dog a stomachache, or worse. The following plants are just fine for your dog to be around: hens and chicks; crape myrtles; ferns; daylilies; rose of Sharon; creeping phlox; roses; sunflowers; strawberries; and torch lilies.

The following plants are not good for your dog, so avoid planting them in areas your dog can get to: aconite, buttercups, chrysanthemums, crocus, daffodils (they look nice, but they aren’t so nice to your dog), daphne, delphinium, foxglove, hyacinth, hydrangea, normal lilies, tomatoes, tulips, wisterias, and yew. Mind you, that’s not all the plants that could harm your dog, so always do your research before you plant anything. If you think your dog might be able to get somewhere that already has such a plant (perhaps you just got a new dog and didn’t have dogs in mind when you originally planted your garden?), using a raised bed or a fence too high for your dog to jump over may work to stop your dog from hurting themselves.

It Doesn’t Just Kill Weeds

Be wary when applying chemicals to your garden. It may be nice to be free of weeds with the chemical solution, but there’s a risk: while dogs eating grass is quite ordinary and should normally give no cause to worry, chemically treated grass is another matter entirely. If you notice anything strange about your dog’s behavior, try to get them to a vet as soon as you can. It may turn out to be nothing much to worry about, but your dog getting sick is always something to be on alert for.

That’s it for this article. We hope you and your dog have a safer time with these tips in mind.


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