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Art Knapp
So Much More Than Plants
Art Knapp

Art Knapp Articles

What Kind of Soil Should You Use for a Garden Bed?

in Informational

What Kind of Soil Should You Use for a Garden Bed

This is not an easy question to answer because there are so many factors to consider when deciding on garden soil. A good rule of thumb is use the best soil that you can afford. But here are some of the factors to consider.

Gardening soil is made up of sand, clay, and loam, or the rich, black, crumbly type. And different areas will have different ratios of each type in their soils.

Different types of plants prefer different types of soils, so what kind of soil you should use depends on what you want to grow.

If you want to grow seedlings and vegetables, then you will want something high quality with lots of the rich, black loam. However, you don’t have to buy it; you can create your own by having a compost and then adding your brand new soil into your existing soil.

Seedlings—any kind—will have a hard time growing in something very rocky. They need a fine soil in order to put down roots and send up shoots. Your soil may be perfectly fine if you pull out the big rocks.

Some flowers are hardier than others. Some will grow anywhere, and some require very specific conditions. Some will prefer a soil that is more acidic and others will prefer something more alkaline. If you feel very ambitious, you may want to have your soil tested in a laboratory.

The best advice is first figure out what you want to grow. Then figure out what kind of soil you already have. Then decide how best to work with what you have. For example, sedum and most succulents prefer a sandy soil. Azaleas and rhododendrons prefer an acidic soil. Daylilies prefer an alkaline soil.

You will not go wrong by adding some of the black loam, but as long as you fertilize regularly, there is no need to dig up your whole yard and replace it with the most expensive soil. Use what you have and improve it a little bit each year. It’s also possible to experiment and see what flowers or plants do well in your yard. Experience is an excellent teacher.

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey.

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.


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