Tips for Increasing the Habitability of Your Soil

Gardener holding soil in hands.Soil is practically a living thing, as it will not produce if not properly fed. Sure, you can simply dig a hole and drop a shrub in it, but if your soil is inhospitable, you can count on that plant not surviving very long. Therefore, it is best to plan how to increase the habitability of your soil before spring arrives to ensure your lawn and garden is properly fed.

Tap into Sources of Organic Matter

Adding organic matter to your soil is the primary solution for introducing carbon and nutrients to dead soil. The following are a few proven methods of reviving or increasing the habitability of your soil.


Composting is an inexpensive means of producing natural fertilizer. It is the process of recycling organic waste – such as grass clippings or non-animal food scraps – to create humus, an organic component of soil that contributes to the retention of moisture and nutrients. Using roughly one-quarter inch of composting every season will dramatically improve your soil’s habitability. For more advice on composting, read our blog, Landscaping Tips: How to Get the Perfect Compost.


Soil organisms and plants love to feed on the nutrients provided by manure. Manure is a great method of introducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium into your soil, which contribute to the growth and coloration of your grass, promote healthy root and stem systems, protect against disease, and make plants drought resistant. To discover more about nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, read our blog, Why You Should Be Fertilizing Your Lawn.


Laying down organic mulch is an excellent way of introducing nutrients to your soil. As mulch breaks down, it releases carbon, nitrogen, and trace elements that can enrich the soil and contribute to plant growth. It is also a great preventative of fungi and weeds, which can rob your soil of moisture and nutrients.

Use Tillage in Moderation

Frequently tilling your soil can rob it of its organic matter. Since preserving your soil’s structure is vital for a healthy lawn and garden, there are alternatives you can employ to prevent the loss of nutrients. Instead of using power tillage, use a low-tech tillage method such as a broadfork or even chickens or worms to prevent inverting the layers and disrupting the organic makeup of the soil. Though, bear in mind, appropriate soil care reduces the need for tillage.

If you’re willing to put in the groundwork and increase the habitability of your soil, we at Dolan Landscaping can help with the rest. With our 25 years of experience in landscape construction and maintenance, we can mold your landscape and garden into a masterpiece. If you’re eager to learn about how we can sustain and garnish your landscape, contact us today.