Tip #4 – All You Need to Know About South Jersey Soils

What do South Jersey soils need most? ORGANIC MATTER. Whether a heavy clay soil or a sandy soil, organic matter will do the most to improve your soil. South Jersey soils typically have 2-3% organic matter. For plants to thrive they need at least double that amount. Organic matter improves the structure of the soil for better aeration and drainage, provides slow release nutrients, and improves the water holding capacity of the soil. Adding organics to your soil will make your garden greener and healthier. The old garden adage is to plant a five dollar plant in a fifty dollar hole – meaning add organic matter.

The other material our soils need is LIME. This is because acid rain and fertilizers lower the pH of the soil, making nutrients not available to be taken up by plants. Lawns and garden plantings need lime added every several years to maintain a pH of 6.0-6.5 for most plants. If you have not Limed in recent years you need to NOW. Otherwise the fertilizer you apply will go mostly unused by your lawn and plantings.