All About Garden Soil and Mulch

My Garden Life
December 7, 2022
Table of Contents
You might be wondering what type of soil is best for your garden or if mulch is good for your garden. We rounded up all our best tips about soil and mulch right here!

Garden Soil Calculator

Garden Soil Calculator_Person dumping soil from a wheelbarrrow into a new wooden raised bed
If you’re starting a new container garden or raised bed, we have tools for measuring how much soil you’ll need. A garden soil calculator can help you avoid frustrating mistakes when you set up a flower or vegetable garden.

Soil Types

Soil Types_close up of a rubber boot with a shovel digging a hole in wet clay soil
Test your soil to find out the type before you make a shopping list. Once you know the soil type you’re planting in, then you can choose plants that prefer clay, silt, sand or loam soil. Or, you can amend clay soil, amend sandy soil or build up healthier soil with biochar.

Making Good Soil vs. Buying Soil for Plants

Making Good Soil_Bark mulch and wood edging surround a perennial shade garden with hosta and purple astilbe
Good soil is essential for healthy plants. If your yard’s soil is less than perfect, you can improve it. Knowing the soil types and what you have in your garden will help you understand what amendments you might need to add. If you can’t improve your soil easily by adding amendments, then you can buy garden soil at the garden center.

Soil Testing for pH

Soil Testing for pH_close up of green PH meter stuck in garden soil
Testing the pH of soil tells you the natural acidity or alkalinity level of a garden. Some plants grow well in a wide range of soil pH, and other plants grow better in acidic soil or thrive in alkaline soil. Once you test the pH of your soil, then you’ll know which plants are best suited for your garden. Or, if you’d like to grow a plant that does better in a different pH than your soil is currently, you can use these tips to change your soil pH.

Benefits of Mulching

Benefits of Mulching_Gardener applying bark mulch around green hosta plant
Mulch is a great way to improve the health of plants and give a polished look to the landscape. Adding mulch to the garden is worth the effort. It saves time and water, controls weeds, and improves the soil.

Types of Mulch

Types of Mulch_Garden bed with red bark mulch andvMolinia caerulea 'Variegata'
Mulch may be the most valuable tool in the gardener’s toolbox. Discover the different types of mulch and which are best for your landscape.

Mulch Calculator

Mulch Calculator_White bags of mulch laying around the perimeter of a garden with variegated hosta plants
Learn how to quickly calculate the amount of mulch you need for your space. It’s important to apply enough mulch to reap the benefits. Use the size of the raised bed, pots or garden area to calculate the number of bags of mulch to buy.
Do you have trouble or questions about your garden soil or the types of mulch? Let us know in the comments below.


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