How to improve your soil health
Soil health refers to the soil’s ability to provide a living, sustainable ecosystem for plants, animals and micro-organisms that live within it. Optimal soil health will provide the nutrients needed for healthy plant growth and provide food and shelter for anything that lives within it.
Why is soil health important?
Healthy soil leads to healthy plant growth. This includes your flower patch, vegetables, lawn etc! In addition to helping your plants flourish, healthy soil will increase plant resilience, reducing the plant’s vulnerabilities to disease and pest infections.
What makes healthy soil?
Numerous factors can affect the health and quality of your soil, however the four major components of a healthy soil: healthy PH, good water regulation, plant/animal life and texture and structure. Generally healthy soil has the following features:
- Dark colour which indicates abundant organic matter within the soil.
- Insect life, including worms, is a great sign of health.
- A crumbling texture indicates a good presence of organic matter.
- If your plant’s roots are widespread, this indicates your plants are happy in the soil.
Is your soil not looking its best? Don’t fret, there are multiple steps you can take to improve your soil and help your plants thrive.
Ways to improve soil health
Compost is the result of decomposed organic matter and can really enhance the vitality of your garden soil. When incorporated into your soil it provides vital nutrients, improves the soil structure, helps maintain a neutral pH and protects plants from common garden diseases.
Using compost also benefits life within your soil, nourishing earthworms and other essential microbial life. Worms and other insects will tunnel through soil and compost, which will improve aeration and drainage while leaving behind their castings increasing soil fertility even further.
Envar produces two forms of compost to benefit your soil. Our compost soil improver is made from green and food waste, is 100% peat free, produced in Britain and the perfect fuel for your plants! Alternatively, if your plants require a more alkaline pH level, they will love our spent mushroom compost. Both are available in bulk loose loads or in 900l bulk bags.
Invest in a soil test
Adding compost to the soil is not a one-time affair, it’s part of a continuous process to replenish nutrients within the soil. To ensure your plants continue to succeed, taking the time to do a soil test can be extremely beneficial. These tests can be found for sale online and can easily identify the nutrients your soil may be lacking in.
Besides making your beds look great, mulching provides a host of other benefits. It acts as a protective barrier that retains soil moisture, reducing water loss and ensuring a steady water supply to plant roots. By suppressing weed growth, mulch minimises competition for water and nutrients, reducing the need for manual weeding. Additionally, it moderates temperature fluctuations, keeping the soil cooler in hot weather and offering some frost protection in colder periods. Mulch also helps prevent soil erosion, improves soil structure through organic decomposition, and recycles nutrients back into the soil, supporting plant growth. Moreover, certain mulches may provide protection against pests and diseases.
Looking for a suitable mulch? Envar has a range of mulches to benefit your garden. Our customers love our decorative garden mulch and woodland garden mulch which adds an attractive finish to your beds and breaks down over time to improve soil structure and texture.
Looking for further advice? Call Envar Composting to discuss your soil requirements on 01487 849 840