Spring & Summer Lawn And Garden Tips

Now that spring is here, it is a good time to take a look at the problem spots in your lawn and garden:

  • Do you notice areas of standing water?
  • Do you have problems with slow or poor drainage in your yard?
  • Are there areas in your lawn & garden where you see slow or weak plant growth?

Any one of these conditions could be the result of clay soil in your lawn & garden.

When it comes to your lawn and garden, the presence of clay soil can create a number of problems:

  1. Clay soil drains slowly. Thus, as the winter snow melts and the spring rains start, the clay soil tends to remain saturated long after average or sandy soils have drained. Wet or saturated soils do not make for a good growing environment long term.
  2. Clay soil is much slower to warm up in the spring. Because of its’ density, the clay soil is resistant to the warming effects of the spring sunshine. Colder soil temperatures slow plant growth. Until the soil warms up sufficiently, springtime growth will be slow and difficult.
  3. Clay soil compacts (pushes together or bonds to itself), making it hard for the roots to penetrate. When the root systems can’t penetrate, they become “stunted” or stop growing. This is not a healthy growing environment.
  4. Clay soil is alkaline (has a high pH), which is hard on plants.
  5. To top it off, clay soil is very heavy and difficult to work with. And messy!

Liquid_Gypsum_RTS_AND_Liquid_Gypsum_GALSoilLogic’s Liquid “Gypsum” product (also sold in some areas as “Liquid Thrive”) can help with all of your clay soil problems. While it is not a miracle, it works very quickly. A program of regularly scheduled applications should help improve poor soil conditions within weeks. It is very easy to apply (much easier to use than bags of traditional dry gypsum), and is relatively inexpensive for the job that it does.

Liquid “Gypsum” may be just your answer for reconditioning your soil, because it can be applied on the surface soil in your flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, or on your lawn. This is easily done with the quart (32. Oz.) ready to spray (“RTS”) bottle, which covers up to 1,000 sq. ft. SoilLogic offers other sizes of  Liquid “Gypsum” for larger yards and repeated applications.

What does  Liquid “Gypsum” do? Its’ concentrated formula has the ability to penetrate the millions of fine clay particles in heavy or hardpan soils, and help to loosen the structure of the soil. This creates air and moisture space that gradually loosens and breaks open the soil structure, which is what your plants, trees, shrubs and lawn need for better growth.

Please note that  Liquid “Gypsum” does not contain any major plant nutrients, so it is still necessary to apply it in conjunction with a regular fertilizing program. However,  Liquid “Gypsum” does contain some ingredients that are very good for healthy plant growth.

To recap,  SoilLogic’s Liquid “Gypsum” (also sold in some areas as “Liquid Thrive”) can help solve your common clay soil problems:

  1. Improve drainage
  2. Open up compacted soil
  3. Create a better growing environment for your lawn and garden!

Ask the Gardener-April 19th

AmericangothicWe have decided that there are so many great gardening questions, that we can’t possibly answer them all in our monthly newsletter.  So we are going to introduce this feature column that will be published every Monday.  We would like to invite you to submit your questions to us by either leaving a comment on the Ask the Gardener post each week or by e-mailing us your questions.  We will do our best to answer all of your questions either in this column or in our monthly newsletter.  So don’t be shy!  Ask away!

Today we are going to answer one of the great questions we have received via e-mail from one of our newsletter subscribers.

How can I get my lifeless clay dirt to grow healthy vegetables?

This is a great question!  And it brings up an important part of gardening:  soil.  In order for plants to grow, they need to be able to establish a healthy root system.  In order to do this, the soil needs to be loose and enriched with nutrients.  The problem with clay soils (and we deal with this too), is that they tend to be heavy and lack essential nutrients that the plants need.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the best scenario for healthy plant growth.  So what does one do when they are faced with soil such as this?

The first thing that you need to do is to add organic material to the clay soil.  When you have done that, add some more.  We like to use humates, or humic acid, which are in essence dinosaur poop.  You can find this at your local garden center.  We also use leaves, compost and grass clippings.   You can add the grass clippings from your lawn, as long as you haven’t treated the lawn with weed killer.  When you add lawn clippings that have been treated with weed killer, you are just asking for trouble as most weed killers will also damage the plants in your garden.  Not exactly what you are trying to do when you are growing a garden.

Work the organic material into the clay soil until it is loose and light.  This will enable your vegetables to establish a great root system and to breathe.  Yes, I said breathe.  We are taught in school that plants provide oxygen into the air for us to breathe.  What isn’t taught, is that plants use just as much oxygen as they generate.  The roots of the plants need oxygen to survive.  When they are planted too tightly in soil, it makes it difficult for the plant to breathe and it will eventually die without the oxygen that it needs to flourish.

You will want to add organic material every year.  This will help you to improve your soil and maximize your potential for a successful garden year after year.

So what is your gardening question?  Leave a comment below with your question or you can e-mail us at info@successfulgardens.com