Spring has sprung, and it’s time to start brightening up your home with flower boxes and beds. Western Building Center has all the tools you need to get your garden started!
One of the most important things to take into consideration when you start your gardening projects is the quality of your soil. Some of us are lucky to have rich, fertile soil in our gardens already – but more often than not, our soil will need added nutrients, moisture control, and effective drainage to grow beautiful flowers and juicy vegetables.
Dirt is dirt, right?
Well, not always. And especially not when it comes to gardening.
- Soil – Soils are composed of a mixture of organic matter, clay, and mineral and rock particles. Ideal gardening soil is generally about 5% organic matter – decayed plants and animals and their waste. For raised beds or container gardening, a higher percentage of organic matter is needed to help with drainage and moisture control: an organic material percentage of up to 30% will keep the soil in your flower pots from turning to cement!
- Compost – Compost is 100% organic matter, and is created by breaking down plants and animals and other organic waste. Compost should never be used on its own for gardening – too much compost will “smother” your plants. It works best as a soil amendment, which will provide and attract nutrients for your garden.
- Peat Moss – Peat moss is another useful soil amendment that should not be used on its own for gardening. Peat moss enables drainage in soil and helps to control moisture, but it is also highly acidic and contains very few nutrients. Too much peat moss can “burn” your plants – unless they are acid-loving plants like berries, azaleas, or rhododendrons.
So … how do I use them?
Garden Beds benefit from yearly soil amendment. As time passes, the organic component of your soil continues to break down, and as the organic component breaks down, the nutrients also disappear. To keep your garden soil happy and healthy – and fertile! – it is recommended to till it up yearly and add organic material and drainage. Experts suggest a 2:1 ratio of existing soil and a mixture of compost and peat moss.
Western Building Centers stock Glacier Gold Organic Compost, which is made right here in Montana, and will provide organic matter and nutrients that are safe for your flower beds and your vegetable gardens!
We also keep on hand a good supply of Peaco Organic Peat Moss (also Montana Made!), which – when added to your existing soil – will provide excellent drainage and moisture control.
Flower Boxes and Containers are just that – containers, so they need a little more help with drainage. Western Building Center offers several different soil solutions to help you grow the brightest blooms and the healthiest veggies!
- Glacier Gold Potting Soil is made from a mixture of mineral soil, compost, peat moss, and perlite (for drainage). This mixture provides just the right blend of nutrients and fibers to keep your pots at their best.
- Glacier Gold Professional Growers Blend is a soilless mixture: it still contains compost, sphagnum, and perlite, but uses coconut coir instead of mineral soil. While the sphagnum and perlite are excellent at facilitating drainage, the coconut coir works more efficiently and consistently to maintain a healthy level of moisture for your flowers. The Professional Growers Blend is ideal for flower pots and baskets.
- Peaco Potting Soil and Organic Potting Soils are also available, and use Montana Peaco Peat Moss in their blend to keep your flowers looking their best.
Seedlings, transplants, and indoor plants will thrive in one of the potting soils above. Pure compost is much too rich for these delicate plants, and peat moss will not provide enough nutrients. Glacier Gold and Peaco Potting Soils provide a nutrient rich, moisture controlled environment for your seedlings and transplants.
Still not sure?
Stop in and let our sales staff help you decide which soil product is right for you. And don’t forget, WBC has all the tools you need to help your garden grow!