Anyone that has gardened for any length of time will inevitably run into issues related to soil health. The appropriate amount of a soil amendment should be well mixed into the ground in order to improve the soil’s physical properties and create an environment conducive to root growth. A constant and stable supply of nutrients will encourage healthy plant growth. For a small backyard garden taking a single sample makes sense. Neem Seed Meal – Neem seed meal is a waste product of the neem industry. The appropriate type of soil amendment depends on the particular needs, texture, and salinity of the soil and the types of crops and flowers that will be grown. Rice Hulls – rice hulls contain silica, and also can help to aerate your soil. Mineral-based soil amendments are used to correct mineral deficiencies in the soil. Where as dried leaves are carbon rich. Zeolites - are made from volcanic stones. When you first get into gardening you think it will be as easy as planting a plant, and harvesting a huge bounty of food. It can be used in compost teas as a microbe catalyst to improve the growth of microbes in your teas. Small particles of rubber tires are a common non-organic soil amendment that help improve the porosity of soil. If you have a depression in your yard or garden, that should be it's own sample. The more information you receive from the lab the better informed you can be when picking the right soil amendments to balance your soil. For example, sandy soil often benefits from the addition of an amendment like peat that will increase moisture retention. Willow Bark – contains a growth hormone that may be beneficial to plants. It also contains trace minerals, and is mined in Ogden Utah.Wood Ash – can help to raise the soils alkalinity and also provide nitrogenWorm Castings – worm casting are nothing more than worm poop. Zeolite is capable of holding up to 60% of its weight in water. Using yard waste as mulch is a great idea, and can cut down on weeds in your flower beds. This list will cover most well known soil amendments as well as some lesser known amendments that you may not be aware of. Sand can also improve drainage. We have compiled this ultimate list of soil amendments to help you in choosing what amendments you can use to help balance out your soil, and increase the health of your plants. This list will cover most well known soil amendments as well as some lesser known amendments that you may not be aware of. Remember that increasing soil health won't happen over night. Helpful fungi, bacteria, and worms rely on organic matter in the soil for energy and will break down organic soil amendments. Once you figure this out you then start your soil balancing quest. Seabird Guano – Seabird guano is like bat guano, but typically only comes in a high phosphorous blend. Shrimp Meal - is ground up shrimp parts that are waste from the shrimp industry. This amendment can be spread on soil, or made into a tea and watered in. It can help to retain moisture in the soil and aid microbial life.Humus – is the organic component of soil, formed by the decomposition of leaves and other plant material by soil microorganisms. It may best be used as a tea or fermented plant extract as supplying large amounts may be cost prohibitive. Once you get your results in, with suggestions, you will then need to plot out what soil amendments you will use to adjust any issue you may be seeing in your soil. It is also good for raising the ph of most any soil. No need to spend the money on 10 samples for a 10' x 10' garden. Depending on the size of your garden or yard, you may want to adjust how you take your soil samples, and where you take your soil samples. High Calcium Lime - raises the pH of the soil to increase the release of phosphorous and potassium from their insoluble compounds, making them plant available. Many types of soil amendments exist, each with a different role. 1. This can be important when growing crops like blueberries. Some of the organic soil amendments that decompose the quickest are manure and grass clippings. For safeties sake, use aged manure as fresh manure can burn plants. Most people don't realize that blossom end rot is from lack of calcium in the soil. Some plants prefer slightly acidic or alkaline soil and many require soil in the neutral range of about 6.5 to 6.8. Macro-nutrients, or the big guys n-p-k, etc.. are not the only nutrients you will need to pay attention to when balancing your soil. The appropriate amount of a soil amendment should be well mixed into the ground in order to improve the soil’s physical properties and create an environment conducive to root growth. This is the definitive guide to soil amendments Alfalfa Meal - is a natural source of readily available nitrogen for plants. If you are growing tomatoes, blossom end rot is a typical issue you may run into. It can take a long time to break down so applying in the fall is a best practice. There are different sources from a round the world that tout different micro-nutrients and amino acids. The effectiveness of soil amendments that are lightly covered with soil is impaired. Horsetail Grass - is rich in silicon and helps plants to resist fungal diseases via increasing their light absorbing capabilities. Making a nutrient rich tea with it and applying to yards and gardens can be beneficial. Again, if you get a soil test that covers everything, it will make it easier for your garden to thrive. Will assist with better air circulation that is a plus for soil microbes. WORM CASTINGS. Garden soil may also include fertilizer to feed your plants. With minimal effort and expense, a worm farm can provide an unlimited source of worm castings for your garden. The effectiveness of soil amendments that are lightly covered with soil is impaired. As long as you are addressing the issues, over time your soil health will improve. If you are sampling your entire yard, or a larger garden or farm, then more samples should be considered. With minimal effort and expense, a worm farm can provide an unlimited source of worm castings for your garden. Soybean Meal - contains a high amount of slow release nitrogen with lesser amounts of potassium. It is known to contain a plant growth hormone that made aid plants in growing more robust. Scattering a product on the surface is actually mulching and will slow evaporation and weed germination as well as help keep soil temperature constant. Yard Waste – Contains some nitrogen and trace amounts of potassium and phosphorus. It's not just nutrients that make a soil healthy, it is organic matter, drainage, aeration, etc.. Common soil amendments include: Garden soil is a soil amendment for in-ground use rather than use in containers or raised beds. Hydrated Lime – Hydrated lime can be used to raise the soils PH, and may improve soil health via Ph adjustment. This is the definitive guide to soil amendments Alfalfa Meal - is a natural source of readily available nitrogen for plants. Inorganic soil amendments can quickly improve the physical properties of soil such as drainage and porosity but will add few nutrients other than macro nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Something to keep in mind is that pretty much 10 different labs will give you 10 different results. It can be brewed into a tea, or fermented in to an extract.Humic Acid – Humic acid is mined from ancient remains of decomposed organic plant materials. Over the last 50 years soils have become heavily depleted of the minerals that are required for healthy plants. Work it into your existing soil to improve aeration and moisture retention. Adjusting Soil pH . The pH of the soil needs to be within a range that will allow plants to access the nutrients in the soil. You can opt to receive a soil balancing suggestion from the soil lab for a few extra dollars.