hand holding mulch

What is soil conditioner?


Creating a thriving outdoor space, be it a garden or an allotment, is a lot more than simply planting seeds or crops and hoping for the best! You have to ensure you give your plants the perfect conditions to grow and thrive.

In this blog post we’ll ‘dig in’ to find out more about soil conditioner and how it can help you create a perfect garden or allotment.

What is soil conditioner?

In a nutshell, soil conditioner is used to help improve existing soil to give plants the best environment to grow. Soil conditioner does this by helping to improve drainage, increase water retention and increase nutrients in the soil.

Garden digging

What is soil conditioner made from?

Soil conditioner can include organic and inorganic materials to help improve soil structure. Here are some common organic ingredients you might typically find in soil conditioner.

Compost: Compost is made from decomposed organic materials such as kitchen scraps, garden waste, and manure. Compost adds organic matter to the soil, improves soil structure, enhances nutrient content, and encourages beneficial microbial activity.

Manure: Animal manure, such as cow, horse, or poultry, is rich in organic nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. When incorporated into the soil, manure improves soil fertility and structure, promoting healthy plant growth.

Peat Moss: Peat moss is a type of organic material formed from the decomposition of sphagnum moss. It has excellent water retention properties and helps improve soil structure by loosening heavy clay soils and increasing aeration. It is also handy to help to lower the PH levels of soil that is too alkaline so is ideal for plants that like more acidic soil.

Why use soil conditioner?

Using soil conditioner in your garden or allotment has many benefits – let’s look into some of those in more detail:

Improves the structure of soil: Soil conditioner can help improve the structure and aeration of soil. If you have soil that is quite compacted and ‘clay-like’ then soil conditioner helps to lighten the soil which improves drainage. If your soil is quite sandy, then it can help improve the soil’s water retention.

Increases nutrient levels: Adding soil conditioner into soil helps to improve essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients help to give the soil everything it needs to help promote healthy and thriving plants.

Increases microorganism levels: Soil conditioners can include microorganisms which help to break down organic matter in the soil to release nutrients. 

Spade digging

What’s the difference between soil conditioner and compost?

On the surface, it might seem like soil conditioner and compost are the same thing – they both help with plant growth afterall. But, there is a main difference between the two:

Compost is used to give plants the nutrients they need to grow and can often be used on their own to grow plants. Whereas, soil conditioner is used to improve the physical properties of soil to help give the perfect environment for plants to grow.

To make the most of your soil conditioner, we’ve put together a handy blog post on how to use soil conditioner.

Soil conditioner from Earth Cycle

Whether you need soil conditioner for your garden, your plants, or your allotment, we have the right soil conditioner for you. Our Compost Soil Conditioner is an ideal all-rounder for your gardening needs. If you have some beds and borders then try our Beds and Borders Compost Soil Conditioner. If you are looking to grow a healthy crop of veggies, our Vegetable Compost Soil Conditioner is the perfect soil improver for you.

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