As we have been shreeding Xmas trees, several clients have reminded us about how beneficial the more acidic pine mulch will be for our alkaline soils. This got me to thinking about some of the reading I had been doing during the holidays on what is the ideal soil.

What becomes clear when you read books on the structure of organic soils is that calcium is a huge player in how fertile our soils are. While the bags at the retail store talk about N-P-K numbers that are on the bottom of the bags, we rarely consider the improvements we can make with the all important mineral of Calcium.

I am going to try and avoid technical terms, so bear with me. What we are talking about is how productive our soils can be – naturally. The analogy that you need to keep in your mind is a cup. The deeper the cup, the more fertile/productive your soil is. The less productive your soil, the more shallow your cup is likely to be (i.e. a saucer). Calcium is a lead ingredient in making your cup deeper. It has properties that make it able to hold more of the nutrients in the soil over a longer period of time. If we think about that holding capacity, then Calcium represents about 60-70% of what holds the nutrients and water in our soil. That is HUGE.

The most important step to figuring out the levels of available calcium and its holding capacity in your soil is to do a soil test. We will provide free labor to residents within 78704 and 78757 in getting your soil samples submitted so that you have a good baseline and document from which to make a plan.

Let us help you make better earth!

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