What Is a Soil Enhancement And Why Might I Need One?

green grass

Do you know what type of soil you have? Most of us do not. It’s underground, unseen, and unless you are a lawn care professional, not something you probably think about on a regular basis. But the type of soil you have is more important than we think. It is the backbone of our yard and the life support system of our landscape. When your soil is good quality, your lawn and landscape look and thrive better. If the quality of your soil is not up to par, your grass and plants are more likely to fall victim to pests and diseases, look unsightly and provide less crop.

Here in Manchester, New Hampshire, maintaining high-quality soil can be more challenging due to our high concentrations of clay and rock. Often soil enhancements are needed to increase the pH levels and various other components. But what exactly is a soil enhancement? Find out! Read on to learn more about soil enhancements, when and why they are needed, and how to apply them.

The Importance of Soil

As mentioned above, soil is the most crucial element of your landscape. It is the key to a successful crop, the growth of your grass, trees, and various plants. And the benefits don’t stop here. Here is a list of some of the more common reasons soil is such a vital component of our well-being:

  • Soil provides plants such as trees and grass with the essential nutrients and minerals needed to grow.
  • Soil stores the much-needed water for plants.
  • Soil acts as a filter for sunlight and water, supports the roots of our trees, plants, and grass, and protects them from erosion, drought, flooding, and other natural destruction.
  • Soil provides a habitat for billions of different microbes contributing to our planet’s ecosystem. These microbes help protect plants from stress and provide them with nutrients.
  • Soil is home to millions of other organisms like insects that lay and hatch eggs.
  • Soil helps regulate the Earth’s climate storing more carbon than all of the world’s forests combined.
  • And here is a very interesting fact; almost all of the antibiotics we take to help fight infection are obtained by soil microbes.

Type of Soil in Manchester, New Hampshire

New Hampshire soil is typically very shallow with little organic matter, mainly because it was carried away by glaciers thousands of years ago. As recognized by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, our state’s official soil is Marlow. Here in the southern part of New Hampshire in Manchester and the surrounding areas, we tend to have nutrient-poor, rocky soil with high concentrations of clay. And because the rain in the northeast also tends to wash away the minerals in the soil, we accumulate hydrogen ions, which decreases pH levels, making our soil more acidic. So how do we counteract all this? Through the use of soil enhancements.

What Is a Soil Enhancement?

A soil enhancement is a substance added to or mixed in with soil to improve its physical properties and provide a better environment for its roots. Soil enhancements can be organic or inorganic. Organic enhancements come from something once alive such as wood chips, grass clippings, straw, compost, and sawdust. Inorganic amendments come from things that are man-made and include items such as perlite, pea gravel, and sand. Here are a few of the most common types of soil amendments used:

  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Chopped leaves or leaf mold
  • Aged or rotted manure
  • Peat or peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Perlite
  • Greensand
  • Gypsum

Now that you know what a soil enhancement is and why there may be a need for soil additives to our Manchester soil, let’s dive into some of the added benefits of soil amendments.

Benefits of Soil Enhancements

Increase Organic Matter

Often, our Manchester soil is low in organic matter. Adding more in helps retain moisture, prevent erosion and improve the soil’s structure.

Encourages Plant Health and Growth

Soil enhancements can increase plant growth while fighting off harmful diseases and pests.

Improves Drainage

Soil amendments can help improve drainage by creating larger pore spaces and improving aeration.

Reduces Water Usage

Organic soil amendments improve sandy soil by increasing the water and nutrient holding capacity.

Improves pH Levels

Soil enhancements can increase or decrease your soil’s pH level, often imbalanced and too low in Manchester.

Improves Texture and Structure

Soil enhancements can provide an energy source for bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, which hold soil particles together and

improves the soil’s physical structure.

Soil Enhancement Services

At Alliance Landscaping, we believe that a healthy lawn starts with the soil. And while it can be challenging to achieve a balanced soil system in Manchester, Alliance Landscaping’s Soil Enhancement Services provide the perfect solution. Our experienced technicians will carefully assess your soil’s current composition. From there, we will develop a customized soil enhancement solution that introduces critical fertilizers, microorganisms, and nutrients for proper pH balance. We understand our local climate, the types of turf, and the services our area needs.

Learn more about our Soil Enhancement Service by filling out our contact us form online or giving us a call at 1-603-704-4230. You can also visit us on our various social media platforms. Like us on Facebook and Instagram, follow us on Twitter, and check out some of our past projects on YouTube.

And don’t forget to check out our other monthly blog articles.

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