Many gardening troubles can easily be traced back to problems with soil and water. We often see customers come in with questions about struggling plants and it’s often the soil or water. Since we’re at the tail end of winter and starting to think about spring, now is a good time to analyze your soil and water so that your plants, trees, and shrubs have a healthy and happy growing season.
An easy way to tell if you have soil issues is to take a good look at your garden beds and spot any areas that you have a struggling plant or any areas that have given you problems. This can typically be a result of poorly drained soil, which eventually leads to root problems and diseased plant material. Any problem areas like this need to be amended to help break-up the soil and increase drainage. If you don’t have problems with drainage and instead have problems keeping the soil moist, then you may need to amend with something that will help hold in the moisture.
Soil and water pH is a very important factor to the health of your plants. Testing the pH of both is fairly inexpensive and easy to do. From my experience, the most common problems with soil and water in our area is having a pH that is too high. When the pH is high, plants are often unable to take up the nutrients they need. You can fertilize all you want, the plant can’t take up the nutrients that are available to it. Adjusting the pH of the water or your soil can be accomplished with soil amendments and fertilizers. If you discover you have a problem with your pH, speak to a garden specialist at your local nursery or the Jackson County Extension Service. There are many solutions to help fix the problems.
Although this is a brief overview of possible issues with your garden soil and water, remember that the best thing to do is first try to determine if you have problem areas. Then develop a plan to fix the problem, and if in doubt, just ask for help, because chances are you’re not alone.
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