Has anyone ever asked you how you got such good soil? Maybe you've asked that of someone you know. Soil is not a divine mandate. We don't have to suffer with poor soil and simply envy those who have it better.

If you feel like you need heavy equipment to have a good gardening experience, it's time to do something about it so you can look forward to another growing season rather than dreading it. I can't say enough about soil. It seems there are those that still think their soil is a matter of fate.

People often tell me they wish they had soil like mine; theirs is heavy clay. At one point mine was too.

No one would go to the effort of purchasing a beautiful plant and a pot to grow it in and then fill the pot with clay from the back yard. They would also purchase good potting soil and maybe mix in a little sand for added drainage. We have complete control of the soil conditions in the pot, but for some reason it is not obvious that we can do the same thing on a larger scale in a flowerbed or garden spot.

If the composition of your soil is out of balance, it is okay to change it. Heavy soil is usually nothing more than sand deficiency. I have heard it said that adding sand to soil will turn it to concrete. (Think about that; where's the logic) If it does harden, it is not because sand was added, but because it needs a little more and needs to be watered and cultivated. After all, sandy soil is nothing more than soil with sand in it.

There are those who maintain that compost is all you should add to heavy soil. However, compost does not break up clay and keep it from adhering to itself the way sand does. Compost is always beneficial, but it breaks down where the sand blends with the clay and changes the structure. Once you have the sand to clay ratio corrected, a light dressing of compost becomes an environmental boost for your plants rather than a laborious effort to amend the soil.

With your soil properly balanced, gardening becomes a relaxing and satisfying past time as opposed to the annually dreaded yard work. 

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