Caption: A tomato bounty improves in well-amended soil with coir (at right) compared to native soil (left) and native soil amended with garden soil (centre).
(NC)—If your green thumb is aiming at a garden-of-plenty this summer, don't let the soil hold you back.
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, in effect, drowning 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.”
Pell points out that since most Canadian homes sit on clay or sandy soil, creating an improved growing environment became priority number one for the Miracle-Gro research and development scientists. He says that years of research and testing has resulted in an innovative new product called Expand 'n Gro. With just a single application, this soil mix can turn native soils like clay and sand, into lighter, fluffier, more fertile soil.
“Can you imagine your garden with up to three times more vegetables and flowers, and much larger plants?” he asks. “Those results—including tomato yields that are up to 12 times more plentiful— are recorded in field tests of the new product.”
Pell explains the nature of the innovation:
“Expand 'n Gro is a planting mix for use in both containers and in-ground gardens. It contains Miracle-Gro plant food—and coir—a sponge-like fibre derived from coconut husks. Once watered, these fibres expand up to 3 times their size. When mixed with a base soil, this creates up to 90 per cent more air space and makes the soil up to 40 per cent lighter. It will improve aeration, moisture retention and drainage, giving nearby plant roots what they need to thrive
“Better still,” he continued, “Expand 'n Gro isreally light to work with. One small bag does the job of a bag three times its size. All the gardener has to do is spread a one-inch layer of it on top of the native soil and mix it in four to six inches deep. After that, the garden's soil structure will be significantly improved for years.”