It's All About The Soil

How Does Your Garden Grow? It’s All About The Soil!

Soil is often referred to as the “foundation of life.” The foundation must be strong and healthy before great things can be developed. Here in the Midlands, most existing soils are comprised of clay or sand and it’s a safe bet that amendments are needed for a healthy, flourishing lawn, landscape, or garden. Soil is improved by adding minerals and organic material that help balance out the overall components of the soil’s structure. Good soil should be light and allow for air and water movement, having a crumb like texture.

The first step in improving the soil is a soil sample test. For spring plantings and maintenance applications, take the samples in early winter in order to give you ample time to plan and apply any nutrients that may be needed. Soil samples are analyzed by the local Clemson Extension Office to identify the levels of nutrients in your soil. A report is provided that shows the pH value and recommendations for fertilizer and/or lime additions to the soil for optimum plant growth.

Come to the Check-Out, where we can provide the appropriate form, sample bag(s), and can assist you with the soil testing process through Clemson, as well as interpreting the report.

Daddy Pete’s To The Rescue!

Our top of line soil “fixer” is Daddy Pete’s Plant Pleaser. Because of the variations of soil types, as mentioned above, we provide different Daddy Pete’s options. Daddy Pete’s Planting Mix is the perfect organic amendment for sandy soil, suitable for flower and vegetable gardens, backfilling shrub and tree plantings, and for general landscape needs. Daddy Pete’s Planting Mix is a mixture of Daddy Pete’s composted cow manure and premium aged pine bark fines. When planting shrubs and trees in clay soils, we recommend mixing Daddy Pete’s Soil Enhancer in the backfill to add organic matter and loosen the clay particles. Learn about additional Daddy Pete’s products as you continue reading!

Mycorrhizal Fungi

Typically, we think of fungi as bad guys in the soil that cause disease and break down the health of our plants. These fellas, however, are good guys, and are actually one of Mother Nature’s best examples of mutually beneficial relation-ships. These fungi attach to the roots of plants as tiny microscopic extensions. In simple terms, the plant and the fungi depend on each other to live and thrive; the plant’s root system is enhanced and it’s nutrient supply is increased, resulting in more growth at a faster rate. On your next visit, ask about Natural Guard Plant Starter with Mycorrhizae to give your plants the BEST start.

Organic Compost

Just like adding spices to your special sauce makes it richer, adding organic matter (decomposed plant or animal materials, AKA compost) improves the health of soil. Organic matter aids in moisture holding capacity, aeration of the soil, provides beneficial microbes and bacteria, all of which improve nutrient uptake for the plant. Daddy Pete’s Cow Manure and Daddy Pete’s Mushroom Compost are excellent amendments for your soil. These materials can be incorporated into the soil through mechanical or manual tilling to a depth of 4–6 in.

TIP: Add a few shovels full of Mushroom Compost to potting mix when planting containers to give that extra boost to your houseplants or seasonal annuals, AND top dress perennials in early spring.

More From Daddy Pete’s

PLANTING SOD OR SEEDING LAWNS, IN-GROUND VEGETABLE OR FLOWER GARDENS
Daddy Pete’s Lawn & Garden Soil – Composted cow manure, premium aged pine bark fines, sand, and gypsum

RAISED BED GARDENS (VEGETABLES, HERBS, FLOWERS)
Daddy Pete’s Raised Bed Mix – Composted cow manure, premium aged pine bark fines, sand, perlite and gypsum

POTTING MIX (GREAT FOR CITRUS) 
Daddy Pete’s Sea & Farm – Composted cow manure, sphagnum peat moss, premium aged pine bark fines, perlite, sandy loam, oyster shell, oceanic fish meal, crab meal, shrimp meal, earthworm castings, fossilized bat guano, kelp meal

Potting Mix for Container Gardening

No doubt, the EASIEST planting of all is container planting. You pick your favorite house plant or seasonal annuals, transfer bagged potting mix into the container, a little light digging, and VOILA…. a beautiful container garden!

Daddy Pete’s Sea & Farm (above) is an excellent potting mix, and we also offer Fafard Ultra Container Mix and Fafard Professional Growing Mix. Both Fafard mixes contain water holding crystals, dolomitic limestone, perlite, compost bark and other forest products. The difference is Ultra contains fertilizer and is available in a smaller bag.

It’s also, always a good idea to add a little extra organic compost!