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Soil: The Key to Successful Gardening

J.R. Feucht, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension landscape plants specialist and professor, horticulture (retired)

Organic matter is best used as an amendment rather than a source of fertilizer. First determine whether the problem in growing healthy plants is nutrition or a physical property of the soil. The best soils for growing plants are uniform in texture throughout the root zone and have a good balance of minerals, air and organic matter. If a soil is too sandy or high in clay, the solution to both extremes is essentially the same – add organic matter. The best organic amendments include relatively coarse, partially decomposed compost and aged barnyard manure. For complete information see CSU Fact Sheet 7.222.

Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010