Fertilizers are critical for providing critical nutrients to ensure that your lawn grows strong while preventing damaging pests and diseases. It’s the food that your lawn directly uptakes, and without it, the lawn would not be sustainable. But another term, soil amendments, is also thrown around quite a bit. Examples are humic acid, biochar, worm tea, and wetting agents. Soil amendments are not fertilizers, but they’re also important additions that should be supplied to maximize nutrient uptake and to provide environmental benefits that ensure the sustainability of lawn care.
How Do Soil Amendments Work?
Rather than directly providing high quantities of mineral food to plants like fertilizers, soil amendments are additives that affect the physical and chemical structure of the soil so that factors such as compaction, dryness, and waterlogging don’t inhibit plants from taking up nutrients. Lime, a well-known soil amendment frequently used on lawns, uses calcium carbonate to turn hydrogen ions responsible for acidity into water and carbon dioxide. This neutralizes acidity and makes elements such as phosphorus more available to plants and decreases potential for toxicity of heavy metals such as aluminum. Organic amendments such as humic acid stimulate soil microorganisms that decompose organic matter, allowing the nutrients to be recycled and reused by plant roots. Humic acid is a component of Simple Lawn Solutions’ Root Hume, Soil Hume and Sea Hume.
Soil amendments benefit the health of your lawn, but they also provide a plethora of environmental benefits. Amendments such as Simple Lawn Solutions’ Soil Loosener disperses soil particles to allow greater water penetration and airflow in the soil. This reduces compaction while reducing potential for fertilizer runoff. Biochar, a product made by super-heating plant matter, has been proven to aid in carbon sequestration and immobilization of soil toxins. Most importantly, by enabling healthier plant growth all soil amendments can be considered a contribution to reduction of contaminants to water systems and increased oxygen output.
Soil amendments provide stability in the soil, which enables it to function in unison with plants and the atmosphere. Consider eating each meal with no plates or utensils. Sure, the food is there, but you’ll need to work harder for it. Consumption, over time, becomes a chore. Nutrients will quite literally be left on the table. Amendments work the same way in that they provide an accessible platform for roots to uptake the minerals added through fertilizers. So give your lawn some utensils and let it eat!