Soil amendments are an integral part of a landscape’s planting scheme. The long term success of a garden depends on the plant material becoming established in the planting medium, sending out a strong and healthy root system, and being provided with proper nutrients throughout it’s life.

"Akebono" cherry, a "Bloodgood" Japanese maple and coleonema "Gold Sunset" offer vibrant color

Details Landscape Art, a Sonoma County landscape contractor since 1991, is diligent about ensuring that the plants and trees we install get off to a good start.

In our blog dated December 16, 2014 entitled ‘Planting in Heavy Clay Soils’, we discussed the particular requirements of adobe soil, which is prevalent in much of Sonoma County. Our November 17, 2015 blog ‘Soil Preparation’ touched on soil amendments as part of an overall discussion of grading and preparing the landscape. This blog lists the various types of topsoil, composts and soil amendments available from one of our local suppliers, and their applications. Keep in mind that different suppliers may call these soil amendments by a different name. The Custom Soil Blends are combinations of other composts and soil amendments listed.

Composts and Amendments:

  • Garden Compost – This unique house mixed product is composed of Mushroom Compost, Redwood Sawdust, Chicken Manure, and House Compost. This is a product that needs to be mixed properly with existing soil, as nitrogen output will begin immediately.
  • Mushroom Compost – Dried steer manure, wheat straw, peat moss, cottonseed meal, gypsum and lime. Great for adding a higher concentration of nutrients and minerals, including nitrogen. Be sure to mix thoroughly into soil, as it can be quite hot.
  • House Compost – Composed of Redwood Sawdust, Rice Hulls, and Chicken Manure. This lightweight fluffy compost is a great addition when mixed into to a garden bed.
  • Organic Compost – composted green yard waste. This is a great top dressing and a basic soil amendment. Also known as Green Compost.
  • Nitro Sawdust – Fir or redwood sawdust enriched with nitrogen. This is our basic product for breaking up heavy Sonoma County clay.

Custom Soil Blends:

  • Planter’s Mix – this house mixed soil is composed of House Compost, Green Compost, Sandy Loam, Mushroom Compost, 5/16” Lava and Organic Fertilizer. Planter’s Mix offers more drainage than average soil. It is perfect for planting directly into pots and boxes.
  • Premium Top Soil – This house mixed soil is composed of Sandy Loam, Organic Compost, House Compost, and Chicken Manure. This is a great general planting soil, rototilling into existing natural soil to bring the soil to life or to raise elevation.
  • Top Soil – This house mixed soil is composed of House Compost, Organic Compost, and Sandy Loam. This general mix is great for landscaping or planting trees and shrubs.
  • Amended Loam – This house mixed loam is composed of Sandy Loam, House Compost, and Organic Compost. This is a heavy soil, great for landscape sculpturing, mounding, and often used under sod.
  • Container Mix – This house mix is ‘soil-less’, composed of 5/16” lava, Nitrolized Sawdust, and Lignapeat. Added to this mix are Urea Formaldehyde, Dolomite Lime, Triple Super Phosphate, Oyster Shells and Iron Sulfate. This is a lightweight soil packed with nutrients and great drainage. It is mainly used for nursery containers.
  • 420 Mix – A mixture of bark media with perlite and a luxurious fertilizer package designed for Prop 215 use. Outstanding for vegetable gardens. Includes ¼” minus fir bark, Lignapeat, House Compost, Perlite, blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal and sulfate potash.

Adding soil amendments is a key ingredient to the success of a garden.