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Gardening On the North Coast

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Soil Types
Soil Organics
Soil Differences
Soil Improvement
Improving Heavy Soil
Improving Light Soil
Inorganic Materials
Care and Maintenance
More Maintenance
Soil pH
Humus and Compost
Soil Mulches


Caring for Your Soil.

Soil is a deep subject (no pun intended, really) and caring for your soil is dependent on many of its qualities. The soil in your yard is a mixture of many things inherited from its past. Included are bits of rock, living and dead plants and animals, mostly of microscopic size, air and water. What types these are, and their proportion in the general mixture, decides your soil's characteristics.

Good points and bad ones relate back to the soil's history. For instance: Did it originate as leaf mold on a forest floor? What type of rock was the "parent" that produced most of its mineral content? Was it extensively farmed and then reborn as a subdivision? Was it a deep layer of subsoil, brought to the surface by the builder of your home? Such things determine secondary characteristics too, such as whether worms and microorganisms are abundant, whether fertility has accumulated, and whether cultivation is easy.

No matter what sort of soil you have, there are a number of things you can do to improve it for a particular purpose, or for future use. But even though we share the same locality, your soil is very likely to be different from others and you must decide what to do about it on the basis of its own characteristics.