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Home > Types of Gardening > Ornamental Gardening > Soil conditions
Soil conditions
Most ornamental plants do best in well-drained soils with a high content of organic matter. Some soils have a hard pan (impermeable layer below the soil level) and will need thorough digging to break up the pan If the soil has a high clay content and is very heavy, sand and organic matter (compost) can be incorporated into the soil to help improve the drainage. Gypsum is a good product to add to heavy soils. Digging in gypsum helps to break up the soil structure without altering the pH of the soil. Take care with fertiliser as what is good for some plants can damage others. For example, fluoride found in superphosphate can damage lilies, while rhododendrons prefer soil with a low pH. Applying too much nitrogen fertiliser can encourage plants to grow leaves rather than flowers.

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