Understanding the difference between Soil Additions and Fertilizers

Understanding the difference between Soil Additions and Fertilizers

Soil additions are substances that are added to soil to improve its physical features. The quality of your soil determines how successful your garden will be. However, many gardens come with poor soil that’s not appropriate for plant growth. This means that it neither drains well nor does it have sufficient nutrients.

You may want to improve the quality of your soil and that is where soil additions play a major role. Organic liquid fertilizers, on the other hand, are natural or synthetic substances you add to the soil in order to improve your yield. Still, soil additions can have essential micronutrients and nutrients enough to benefit your plants.

When used on their own, fertilizers may not be sufficient enough to enhance the structure of your soil. One thing farmers should know is: when plants are suffering due to excess water in either a condensed or poorly draining soil and insufficient water or air, fertilizer will be of little use. Often, when the soil is condensed, fertilizer will easily flow through the surface, hardly reaching the plant roots.

Identifying Problems with Your Soil

Do you live in an area infested with clay soil? If you do, chances are you are experiencing drainage problems. Poor drainage is characterized by the accumulation of water around the plant’s roots for a long time. This results in diseases and restricts the circulation of oxygen on the roots.

A garden that has lots of puddles, mud or a lawn that hardly drains following a storm are examples of poor drainage in the soil. To enhance the flow of water in the soil, you should add a lot of compost all over your garden. If your soil is extremely dense, you want to add peat moss. Further, aerate your soil at least once annually.

To establish whether or not the problem with your soil is solved, dig a 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide hole, add water in the hole and observe. If you notice that the water remains there for more than 15 minutes, you may want to add more peat moss and compost to the soil.

Peat moss especially is excellent when it comes to enhancing drainage and breaking up clay particles. The good thing with peat moss is that it doesn’t make the soil acidic if you don’t add excess amounts.

Friable Soil

Friable soil has a crumbly texture which is important for the formation of roots and the evolution of the edible part of vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Friable soil drains well and if you live in areas with this type of soil, nutrients and water in your soil will disappear through the soil fast.

This means that your plants will be deprived of essential nutrients if you don’t take the necessary action. In such a case, you will need to add compost in the soil to enhance the soil’s ability to build soil and retain water.

Assuming you have introduced soil additions and you still are having bloom or growth challenges, you may want to include organic liquid fertilizers to improve your plants. Remember, fertilizers come with varying nutrient ratios. It is, therefore, important to understand your soil needs rather than applying any fertilizer that’s available in your local garden center.

To accomplish this, test your soil using a good test kit. If you don’t have one, you may need to call in an expert or even send samples of your soil to the local laboratory for testing. A professional soil expert will advise you accordingly depending on the results of your soil test.


Are you having challenges with your soil? Are you torn between using fertilizers and soil additions? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you need to first understand the type of soil in your garden in order to understand which substance is ideal. Ensure you know the difference between the two substances before using them. Remember, to get the best yield out of your garden, you need to test your soil or have it tested in the laboratory by a qualified soil expert.

Categories: Home-Improvement

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