To Amend The Land Of His Garden: Why, How?

Soil rich in earthworms

The amendments are complementary products supplied to the land in order to improve its structure and composition over the long term, with the aim of being adapted to the needs of the plants that will be installed there. Before seeing in detail what are the different possible amendments and what distinguishes them from fertilizers, well know the soil is needed.

Analyze the soil

The soil should be brought to the best possible state of fertility, that is, sufficiently loose to allow easy rooting in depth, and ventilated enough for the rain to flow when it is overdose but that it is still retained, with the nutrients, to feed the plants. The ideal garden soil consists of 65% sand, 10% limestone, 5% humusthat is, it is neutral (as opposed to acidic) with a pH of 6.5 to 7.

Nothing is visible to the eye except the wealth of earthworms that is mandatory: only a soil analysis will prevent deficiencies and avoid excesses in terms of amendments. So you need a good balance between the clay that gives consistency to the soil and the organic matter that will maintain a correct level of humus, providing nutrients while retaining the necessary water.

Difference between amendments and fertilizers

The confusion between amendments and fertilizers remains frequent. To remedy this, know that a fertilizer provides elements that are intended to feed the plant so that it has satisfactory growth (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, but also trace elements such as magnesium, zinc, copper, calcium...). A fertilizer is either chemical, ie synthetic or natural, organic or mineral. But, the fertilizer has no effect on the soil structure, this is its main difference with the amendment.

clay soil

The amendments, therefore, will change the physico-chemical state of the soil and its structure by improving them. The amendments are either mineral or organic.

Mineral amendments

Bentonite clay

Bentonite clay has an interesting water retention capacity and an ability to mix well with humus: it is intended for light, sandy and loamy soils that dry much less quickly. To be incorporated in autumn or winter by scratching: 1kg / m².


Basalt strengthens the constitution of sandy soils and makes lighter soils heavy. It enhances microbial life and disease resistance through the minerals and trace elements it contains. Spread all year round: 500g to 1kg / m².


Dolomite is a limestone amendment for clay soils and / or deficient in magnesium. It lightenes the soil and helps the decomposition of organic matter. To be incorporated between August and October preferably: 200 to 300g / m².

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate reduces the acidity of clay soils and improves the microbial life of the soil. To bury in the ground in autumn or winter: 200 to 300g / m².


Lithothamme is a sediment of calcareous seaweed found off the coast of Brittany. It limits the acidity of the soil and provides a lot of trace elements but its exploitation destroys the seabed and harms marine biodiversity. To avoid.

Organic amendments



The compost comes from the fermentation and decomposition of plant materials from the garden or the house. It balances the pH, brings many micro-organisms as well as the necessary nutrients to the plants. It improves the sandy soils to which it gives consistency and the clay soils it lighten. To be deposited on the surface, in a layer of about ten centimeters, in spring or autumn.


Manure is a mixture of solid and liquid animal waste and straw. It is rich in microorganism and is valuable for plant growth. To bury at 15 cm at the end of autumn.

The potting of leaves

The leaf mold is derived from the fermentation and decomposition of leaves but requires two years of manufacture. It enhances the acidity of the soil.


Peat is to be avoided since it comes from ecosystems that are thus weakened by this exploitation.

Video: How to Amend the Soil in Your Organic Garden.

Share With Your Friends