In most Canadian gardens, there is too much clay or sand content, say experts in this field. Both are responsible for a compromised growing environment – and that spells frustration for those of us who work hard to grow flowers, tomatoes, vegetables and fruit.
“For plant roots to thrive, they need a proper balance of moisture, nutrition and aeration,” says Syd Pell at Miracle-Gro. “Clay soil is dense and heavy, with tiny pores, so the oxygen level is low. Water cannot readily pass through, causing drainage problems that essentially drown the plant. At the other extreme, sandy soil has large pores and is low in organic matter, making it difficult to retain nutrients as water drains away far too quickly. If the roots can’t get sufficient water and oxygen to transport nutrients, the plants will shut down.”