Amendments are recommended in situations such as compacted soils, new construction sites with disturbed soil, and soils with excessive clay. In addition, trees will exhibit faster growth the first few years if soil is amended, so we recommend adding a high quality compost and/or a product like VermiBlend for Japanese maples and other high value plants. We stock Vermiblend (an amendment made of compost, earthworm castings, and other ingredients-see below), Redi-Grow soil amendment, and Vermifire (a high quality potting soil which includes compost, earthworm castings and other ingredients), Redi-Grow potting soil (a high quality potting soil which is similar to the potting soil that we use in the nursery for our Japanese maples). We recommend a mixture of a good quality compost of your choice and/or Vermiblend for most plantings. This will not only improve plant growth, but healthy soil is the foundation for disease prevention as well.
Information on VermiBlend can be found at http://www.vermicrop.com/vermiblend or in our office. VermiBlend is a premium soil amendment that contains high quality compost, earthworm castings, Alaskan Humus, Fossilized Kelp, and endo/ecto mycorrhizae. We stock this product at the request of many of our customers who have found it to be highly beneficial to their Japanese maples, dramatically improving the first year growth and health of the trees.
We also recommend mulching all trees and shrubs in the landscape with a high quality mulch to 2-4″ deep. Keep mulch away from the trunk of the tree or shrub to discourage disease to the crown of the plant. A thick layer of mulch will conserve soil moisture, prevent weed growth, and improve plant health.
For container plants, we recommend a basic mix specifically blended for containers. “Soil amendments” are NOT the same as potting soil. Potting soils have been specially developed so that they drain well and don’t compact with time. When planting during the summer season, we strongly suggest potting soils without added artificial nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen increases water requirements for plants and
Japanese maples tend to burn when struggling with high summer temperatures combined with a potting soil with high nitrogen fertilizer. Many common and popular potting mixes contain high levels of nitrogen fertilizer and while acceptable for use when planting in the spring, we strongly urge customers to avoid using these when planting in the summer. We sell two potting soils that work well with Japanese maples. Redi-Grow Potting Soil is a good basic potting soil. Vermifire is an organic potting soil. Information on Vermifire can be found at http://www.vermicrop.com/vermifire.