At the end of this page is a list of the many soil amendments sold in our nursery department, available in small pre-packaged plant-based biodegradable clamshells and in 25 and 50 lb bags. All of the amendments we sell are approved for organic gardening.
Which to buy? Soil is alive, complicated, and not simple to fully understand. However, getting started & understanding enough to substantially improve your garden is very doable and we’d love to help you!
The first step is understanding the current state of your soil and what its deficiencies are. You can do that through soil testing, by examining your plants for telltale signs, and by understanding what conditions are common to our area.
The second step is understanding the various options of how you can replenish any soil deficiencies, optimize the soil pH for what you are growing, and provide ample nutrients for healthy vigorous plants.
The Tilth Alliance has published a “Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide” which is chock full of useful information (copies for sale and available for reference at the Corner). In the back under “resources” is a list of places to get your soil tested. On page 52 there is a great chart “Recognizing Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants”.
Jeanmarie Morelli has written us a great overview article “Soil Amendments at the Corner” to get you started.
Now, onto the list of our amendments! Have fun and ask for help!
Acid Mix (4-3-6)
Perfect fertilizer for acid loving plants like rhododendrons, blueberries, raspberries, evergreen trees and azaleas.
Increases the pH of acidic soils (making it more alkaline). Improves water penetration. Keeps calcium and magnesium from leaching out of the soil, thereby improving uptake of the major plant nutrients.
alfalfa meal (2.5-5-2.5)
Alfalfa Meal decomposes rapidly and is ideal for quickly rebuilding depleted soil or kick-starting a compost pile. Contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and sugars to feed the soil, and a little goes a long way.
Mined from an ancient volcanic seabed in Utah. Great for overall A-Z remineralization of soil. Improves root systems and plant vigor plus wakes up soil microbials. Fine powder for easy assimilation. Apply 10 lb per 100 square feet.
blood meal (12-0-0)
One of the highest non-synthetic sources of water-soluble nitrogen. Promotes vegetative growth. Fast release. Can be used as a composting activator. Useful for top-dressing leaf crops and other heavy feeders in cold weather.
Buckwheat cover crop
A summer/cool season annual. Quick growing green manure which provides weed suppression, nectar for beneficial insects and bees, top soil loosening, and rejuvenation of low-fertility soils. Till under when flowering begins. Plant May through August.
chimacum blend (3-4-1)
An all-purpose fertilizer tailored for our soils and weather. Blend of kelp, cotton seed, bone meal, rock phosphate, epsom salt, blood meal, agricultural lime, dolomite, gypsum. Mixed in-house based on a recipe by Steve Solomon, author of “Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades.”
cottonseed meal (6-2-1)
Slow release fertilizer. Excellent for plants, berries, shrubs and trees requiring low soil pH as it will slightly acidify soil.
cow bone meal (3-15-0)
The high phosphorus levels in bone meal will help your flowering plants provided your soil pH is not above 7 (not usually the case in the PNW). When used with manure, the phosphorus in cow bone nicely balances out the manure’s high nitrogen levels.
crab meal (4-3-0)
Crab meal is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, but it releases nutrients slowly posing no threat to the pH level of your soil. The chitin in crab meal naturally defends against parasitic nematodes and fungal problems like botrytis & blossom end rot.
Use to alkalinize and balance the pH of soils. The Tilth Alliance recommends using only every 4th year to avoid adding too much magnesium to the soil. During the other years, use Agricultural Lime which doesn’t contain magnesium.
Composed of magnesium and sulfate. Determine need through soil testing as too much magnesium can cause plant injury. The crystalline texture of epsom is reportedly an irritant to certain pests.
feather meal (12-0-0)
Slow release over 3–6 months. Good for heavy feeders: corn, tomato, pepper, eggplant, leafy greens, trees and shrubs. Great to add to compost that is high in carbon.
fish bone meal (3-16-0)
A good source of phosphorus, promoting strong roots and blooms. An interchangeable replacement for cow bone meal.
Mined from ocean deposits rich in glauconite. Excellent source of trace minerals as well as silica, iron oxide, lime, phosphoric acid and slow-release potassium. Helps to improve moisture retention in sandy soils and promote healthy plant growth.
Provides fast calcium and sulfur. Removes excess sodium from the soil in salty coastal areas. Use as a temporary aid in breaking up compact clay soil.
Contains oxidized lignite made of the remains of decomposed organic plant materials. When incorporated into your soil, it helps to increase nutrient uptake and promote healthy microbial life.
kelp meal (1-0.1-2)
North Atlantic sourced. Great source of potash, trace minerals, enzymes and plant growth regulators. Stimulates soil biological activity and works well to quickly adjust potassium deficiencies.
Langbeinite’s high potassium levels strengthen stalks & roots, which gives plants greater ability to withstand insect pressure. Provides an excellent source of sulphur & magnesium in water-soluble form. Its neutral pH and low chlorine content makes fertilizer burn unlikely.
Perfect all-around fertilizer derived from dried poultry waste. Offers a slow release broad spectrum of nutrients.
Great source of calcium & other trace minerals. Helps balance soil pH, which promotes root growth and nutrient uptake. The coarse texture helps reduce soil compaction, promoting good drainage. When added to compost, creates high-quality habitat for beneficial microbes.
rock phosphate (0-2-2)
For remineralization. Best source for providing long-term availability of phosphorus and calcium (up to 5 years).
rye vetch cover crop
Over-wintering crop which adds bio-mass (organic matter) and nitrogen to the soil. Plant year round, although germination rates will decrease after Thanksgiving. Sow 1/2 lb per 100 square feet. Mow it when it flowers in April/May to kill it prior to planting your desired plants.
sea bird guano (0-11-0)
Seabird Guano is high in phosphorus & calcium, and used specifically to increase and improve blooms. It also enhances beneficial bacterial activity in your soil. Use it on indoor & outdoor plants—applying it mid-season as a side dress will give them another boost for flower production.
Sulphur is useful for acidifying and adding tilth to poor quality alkaline soil. It is helpful for fertilizing high sulphur-using crops like oil seeds & legumes. By reacting with free lime in the soil, it adds gypsum (high in calcium) and frees up sodium which can then be leached out by watering.