Soil health and lawn health go hand in hand. Choose Jonathan Green soil amendments, made with all-natural ingredients to help you maintain loose, biologically active soil with a balanced pH. Read more.
Explore Jonathan Green Soil Amendments
Jonathan Green soil amendment products are designed to address a variety of soil issues, such as compaction, water retention, nutrient availability and acidic and alkaline soil pH. Our soil foods are one-of-a-kind and formulated with natural ingredients to help you achieve a healthy lawn and soil, without the use of harsh chemicals!
What Are Soil Amendments?
Soil amendments or soil conditioners are anything added to your lawn’s soil to change the physical nature and improve its texture, aeration and ability to retain water. They also often adjust pH, creating a better environment for roots to grow and improving your grass plants’ ability to absorb nutrients.
Soil amendments are often confused with lawn fertilizer, as they both are used to improve the overall health of your lawn. Fertilizer supplies the soil with nutrients needed for grass growth, while soil amendments help to improve the structure and texture of the soil, allowing your grass roots to grow deep and strong.
Soil amendments aid in creating a healthy environment to grow grass in. When added to your soil, they encourage the growth of stronger roots and make it easier for your lawn to access air, water, and nutrients.
Benefits of Using Soil Amendments
One benefit of using a soil amendment is that it improves the overall health of your soil and lawn. Many soil amendments contain humates, which are organic substances that help to stimulate healthy biological activity in the soil. Having healthy, biologically active soil creates the best foundation for your grass to grow in.
Another benefit of adding soil conditioners to your lawn care routine is that they help to improve water drainage and the flow of oxygen to grass roots.
When soil is hard or compacted, grass roots cannot grow deep into the soil to access necessary air, water, and nutrients for healthy grass growth. This can lead to a number of lawn issues, including the growth of weeds, thin, patchy grass, and water pooling in areas of your yard.
Using soil foods fortified with gypsum (a loosening agent), such as Jonathan Green Love Your Soil, helps to release trapped nutrients in hard, compacted soil, improves air and water flow, and encourages the growth of deeper roots.
Soil amendments can also help to balance the levels of acidity and alkalinity of your soil. If you struggle with weeds, light green or yellowing grass or bare spots in your lawn, your soil’s pH levels may be unbalanced.
To determine if your soil’s pH levels are within a healthy range, you can use a soil pH test kit or send a small sample of your soil to your local cooperative extension office. For reference, healthy lawns flourish with a pH that is slightly acidic to neutral (between 6.2 and 7.0).
When your soil pH is unbalanced, it prevents your grass from accessing the nutrients it needs for growth. Using soil conditioner formulated with elements like sulfur, calcium sulfate, and calcium carbonate help to correct unbalanced soil pH. Check out Jonathan Green Mag-I-Cal® for Lawns in Acidic Soil or Mag-I-Cal® Plus for Lawns in Alkaline & Hard Soil to restore balance to your soil.
Choosing a Soil Amendment for Your Lawn
Choosing the right soil amendment for your lawn and soil type is important in order to address specific soil issues. Here are a few steps to select the best soil amendment to address your soil’s specific needs:
- Test your soil (a healthy range is between 6.2 and 7.0)
- Perform a soil compaction test.
- Once you have your results follow the guide below on which product you need to use.
If the pH of your soil is balanced and not compacted, then you probably don’t need a soil amendment. If your soil pH is above 7 or below 6, or if it is compacted, then it needs some help from one of the following soil amendments.
- Mag-I-Cal for Lawns in Acidic Soil- use this for soil with a pH that is below 6
- Mag-I-Cal Plus for Lawns in Acidic and Hard Soil- use this for soil that has a pH below 6 AND is compacted
- Mag-I-Cal Plus for Lawns in Alkaline and Hard Soil- use this for soil that has a pH above 7 AND is compacted
- Love Your Soil- use this for soil that is compacted, but has a balanced pH
Types of Soil Amendments
There are several types of soil amendments you can use to improve the physical properties of your soil. Whether it’s to help fix an unbalanced soil pH or loosen compacted soil, each type of soil amendment has its own unique role in creating a healthier environment for you to plant grass seed. Here are some common soil conditioners used in lawn care:
Lime is an element that is commonly added to soils to help raise the pH of acidic soil. Though its fruit-bearing name is deceiving, the form of “lime” used in lawn care is actually made from ground limestone rock and contains a concentration of magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate, both of which help to adjust low soil pH and improve the availability of nutrients to your lawn.
Adding lime is a common solution to adjust soil pH that is too acidic, however in most cases of unbalanced soil, it can take many bags of dusty lime to do this. A cost-effective, nutrient-packed alternative to this is Jonathan Green Mag-I-Cal Soil Food, which offers the adjusting power of up to 15 bags of lime and includes calcium carbonate in a completely soluble form to help rapidly adjust soil pH upwards.
Sulfur, also known as elemental sulfur, is another ingredient added to soil amendments that lowers the pH in soils that are too alkaline. Soil microbes feed on elemental sulfur and produce its soil pH-lowering effect.
Fast-acting sulfur is a key ingredient in Mag-I-Cal® Plus for Lawns in Alkaline & Hard Soil which works with calcium sulfate to lower high soil pH levels so that grass plants can access nutrients in the soil.
Calcium sulfate, or gypsum, is a quick-acting mineral that loosens and aerates compacted soil. It is best used on hard, clay soils that are dry, compacted, and challenging to grow healthy grass in. When soil particles are tightly compressed, rates of water infiltration and drainage are reduced and grass plants struggle to grow deep roots. Many people use a core aerator to loosen compacted soil, but this is only a temporary solution as the holes will fill back in over time and recompact.
For a natural, long-term solution to this problem, you can add a gypsum-enriched soil amendment, such as Love Your Soil, which provides natural aeration, improves root growth and enhances water penetration.
Mag-I-Cal® Plus for Lawns in Acidic & Hard SoilUnique soil food combo for lawns to rapidly raise pH, loosen compaction & stimulate soil microbes.
Mag-I-Cal® Plus for Lawns in Alkaline & Hard SoilUnique soil food combo for lawns to rapidly lower pH, loosen compaction & stimulate soil microbes.
Love Your Soil®Soil food that stimulates microbes to build topsoil while loosening hard, compacted soil.
Mag-I-Cal® for Lawns in Acidic SoilConcentrated calcium soil food with humates that rapidly raises & balances soil pH.
Soil pH Test Kit for LawnsEasy to use kit that quickly determines soil pH. Get results in only 10 minutes!
Pro pH & Moisture Soil TesterTool to accurately measure pH & moisture levels in the soil.