The key to a bountiful harvest lies in providing your garden with the right nutrients and structure through soil amendments. From compost to vermiculite, there are countless options available, but which ones are truly the best soil amendments for vegetable garden? In this post, we'll explore some tried-and-true options that can take your veggies from mediocre to magnificent.
Here are the best soil amendments for vegetable garden you can buy in 2024:
- Best For Vertical Garden: Plantonix Perlite Bliss
- Best For Soil Microbiome: The Andersons 12
- Best For Hydroponics: GARDENERA MAIN-VERM-4QT-MED
- Best For Root Vegetables: Harris CHAR-2
- Best For Herb Garden: Cz Garden Supply CzLECA2lb
- Best For Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: Wiggle Worm GMWW30
|6 Best Soil Amendments For Vegetable Garden
Best For Vertical Garden
|Plantonix Perlite Bliss
Best For Soil Microbiome
|The Andersons 12
Best For Hydroponics
Best For Root Vegetables
Best For Herb Garden
|Cz Garden Supply CzLECA2lb
Best For Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
|Wiggle Worm GMWW30
Best For Vertical Garden: Plantonix Perlite Bliss
- Improve soil compaction – Horticultural perlite grains
- Ideal for indoor and outdoor gardens – nontoxic, non-flammable, and odorless
- Useless directions
If you have a vertical vegetable garden, then the Plantonix Perlite Bliss will be a great choice to promote healthier plants.
It contains perlite—a natural, lightweight, and sterile material that does not decompose or deplete nitrogen levels over time.
This ingredient helps fight against soil compaction in vertical gardens, improves soil aeration, and removes excess water from the root zone, which can help to prevent root rot and create a better environment for plant growth.
At the same time, the product encourages stronger root development and improved insulation of potting mixes.
Don't worry, it's non-toxic and approved for organic agriculture.
|Plantonix Perlite Bliss Specifications
Horticultural perlite grains
For vertical vegetable gardens, we find the Plantonix Perlite Bliss is the best performer.
Best For Soil Microbiome: The Andersons 12
- Improve microbial activity and plant growth - humic acid and biochar
- Easy to apply – the Dispersible Granule (DG) Technology
- Cost-efficient – coverage of up to 12,000 square feet
- No complaint
The Andersons 12 is rich in humic acid and biochar, the two ingredients known for the ability to increase soil fertility by providing important nutrients, holding onto moisture, and buffering soil pH.
This combination of materials also adds organic carbon to the soil, creating an environment conducive for microbial activity and plant growth.
In short, the soil amendment creates a more nutrient-rich environment for vegetables, leading to improved crop yields and healthier plants.
But that's not all. The Dispersible Granule (DG) Technology allows for easier application of the soil amendment, making it a convenient choice for vegetable gardeners.
|The Andersons 12 Specifications
Humic acid & biochar
humic acid and biochar
the Dispersible Granule (DG) Technology
coverage of up to 12,000 square feet
The Andersons 12 helps improve plant growth and crop yields by creating a great environment for soil microbiome
Best For Hydroponics: GARDENERA MAIN-VERM-4QT-MED
- Best for hydroponics – the neutral pH and lightweight properties of the product
- Enhance water retention & nutrient retention abilities - medium-grade vermiculite
- Help oxygen reach the plant roots
- The bag isn’t sealable
There are many similar options out there, but we find only the GARDENERA MAIN-VERM-4QT-MED delivers great results on hydroponics vegetable gardens, thanks to its unique properties.
This medium-grade vermiculite has excellent water retention and nutrient retention abilities, which helps to ensure that your vegetable plants have access to the water and nutrients they need throughout their growth cycle.
Besides, the neutral pH and lightweight properties make it easy to work with when creating and maintaining a hydroponic garden.
The extra coarse grade of vermiculite creates larger pockets of air in the soil so that oxygen can reach the roots of your plants and promote healthy and vigorous growth.
|GARDENERA MAIN-VERM-4QT-MED Specifications
If you’re looking for the best soil amendment for hydroponics, then our pick is the GARDENERA MAIN-VERM-4QT-MED
Best For Root Vegetables: Harris CHAR-2
- Eliminate smokiness from the soil & optimize growth of root vegetables - premium biochar
- Enhance soil aeration - horticultural charcoal
- It’s a bit messy
The beauty of this soil amendment product is it increases soil carbon, nutrient content, water retention, water-soluble nutrients, and beneficial microbial life.
Not only that, but it also helps to keep oxygen in the soil, aiding in further nourishing the plants.
Its main ingredients are horticultural charcoal and premium biochar with no fillers or additives.
As made at higher temperatures than regular charcoal, biochar eliminates the smokiness from the soil, ensuring that the root vegetables will benefit from optimal growth and nutrition.
By utilizing this product, you can be sure to provide your plants with the necessary nutrients and minerals required for healthy growth.
|Harris CHAR-2 Specifications
Horticultural Charcoal, Premium Biochar
If you have a root vegetable garden and want to increase crop yields, we highly recommend using the Harris CHAR-2
Best For Herb Garden: Cz Garden Supply CzLECA2lb
- Ideal for herb gardens - clay pebbles (all-natural, safe, & not leaching into the plants)
- Easy to store – thick bag with a zipper
- They’re dirty
The clay pebbles contained in this soil amendment product will give your herb gardens numerous benefits.
First off, they provide stability to the roots of plants, creating a solid foundation that allows them to easily access moisture and nutrients to promote healthy growth.
Secondly, they ensure ample aeration of the root system and prevent rot and acidity build-up. This type of grow media also does not attract pests or bugs and discourages fungus growth.
Additionally, the clay pebbles help to retain moisture in the soil, so plants don’t dry out quickly. They also help to aerate the soil, making it easier for oxygen and other nutrients to reach the roots.
Finally, the medium is light and easy to manage.
|Cz Garden Supply CzLECA2lb Specifications
thick bag with a zipper
The Cz Garden Supply CzLECA2lb is an ideal choice for herb gardens, as it allows herbs to thrive without the worry of disease, pest infestations, and environmental damage.
Best For Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: Wiggle Worm GMWW30
- Improve soil aeration & anchor plant nutrients - humus in pure earthworm castings
- Can be used in organic vegetable gardens – OMRI-listed formula
- Non-toxic and odorless during use
- Wish the bag had a zipper
- A bit expensive
The Wiggle Worm GMWW30 is a high-quality organic fertilizer that can provide trace elements and essential nutrients to plants fast and easily.
The pure worm castings are nontoxic and odorless, making them safe to use around pets, children, and other wildlife.
Meanwhile, the humus contained worm castings can improve the airflow in the soil while anchoring plant nutrients.
Scientific studies demonstrate that using worm castings in your garden can help plants grow significantly larger, and stronger, and produce more abundant and higher-quality vegetables.
These features make the Wiggle Worm GMWW30 a great choice for raised bed vegetable gardens.
|Wiggle Worm GMWW30 Specifications
humus in pure earthworm castings
Non-toxic and odorless
From our testing, the Wiggle Worm GMWW30 is the best soil amendment for raised bed vegetable gardens.
How To Choose The Best Soil Amendments For Vegetable Garden?
Which To Choose: Organic Or Inorganic Soil Amendments?
When choosing the best soil amendments for a vegetable garden, it is important to determine what type of soil amendment is needed.
There are two types: organic soil amendments and inorganic soil amendments.
Organic soil amendments help improve soil fertility. They can be wood ash, sawdust, biosolids, manure, compost, straw, grass clippings, wood chips, and sphagnum peat.
On the other hand, inorganic soil amendments help improve soil structure and drainage. They can be limestone, gypsum, and perlite.
Take note that organic amendments will need to be replenished more often than inorganic amendments.
Determine How Much Of An Amendment Should Be Added
The amount of soil amendment needed will depend on the size of the garden and the application rate indicated on the package.
One should multiply the square footage by the application rate to determine the amount of amendment needed.
Which Brands Make The Best Soil Amendments For Vegetable Garden?
Plantonix is an experienced and reliable brand for soil amendments because it provides excellent aeration and drainage for soils, allowing water and oxygen to reach the roots of plants and crops.
Additionally, it supplies some plant nutrients and its compost and manure products double as fertilizers with a guaranteed nutrient analysis.
Plantonix's products are certified organic and use Biological Soil Amendments (BSAs), all of which play an important role in both conventional and organic agriculture. More specifically, they provide essential nutrients to soils and help improve soil fertility and crop production.
The Andersons is renowned for offering humic acid-based soil amendments formulated to deliver natural and rich nutrients during the plant growth season more efficiently and effectively.
The best part is their products are made with Dispersible Granule (DG) Technology which allows particles to disperse when watered.
The company also has great customer reviews.
Cz Garden is a famous brand specializing in soil amendment products.
Their products are proven effective to break up clay soil and form a protective barrier to reduce evaporation and hardening.
A big plus is: even if you’re a new gardener, you can use soil amendments from Cz Garden like a pro and with no difficulties. The reason is the brand provides clear guidance on how to use their products and helpful information to understand the importance of soil organic matter levels for good plant performance.
Is soil amendment the same as fertilizer?
No, soil amendment and fertilizer are not the same.
Fertilizer is an amendment to the soil that supplies or creates the plant food. Soil amendment improves the physical conditions of the soil, such as its structure and water drainage - these factors indirectly affect the plant growth.
How much soil amendment do I need?
The amount of soil amendment you need will depend on:
- Size of the area to be amended
- Application rate provided on the package
- The desired ratio of soil amendment to existing soil (typically 20% amendment: 80% existing soil).
To calculate the amount of soil amendment needed in pounds, multiply the square footage by the application rate on the package.
Can I use too much soil amendment?
No, it’s not recommended using too much soil amendment. The reason is that too much of certain organic or inorganic amendments can imbalance the pH of the soil, create toxic conditions, or cause nutrient imbalances.
How often should I amend soil?
Generally, soil amendments should be done once a year in either autumn or spring, depending on the type of soil.
How do I add soil amendments to the soil?
To add soil amendments to the soil, you should get a soil test done first. Then, depending on your soil type, pick the right type of soil amendment – organic, inorganic, or both. Next, determine the volume required by your soil and plants.
Growing a vegetable garden is an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it requires proper preparation. The six picks above are some of the best soil amendments for vegetable garden to use when preparing your soil.
By choosing the right combination of these soil amendments you can help create healthy, nutrient-rich soil that will provide ideal conditions for growing a successful and bountiful harvest.
With just a little bit of effort, your vegetable garden could be flourishing in no time!