Ja Rutter’s Rain Garden: Time for Soil!

Time to mix the soil for the Pollinator Rain Garden at JA Rutter

This afternoon, Jayme had the production team mix up a special soil mix for the native pollinator rain garden. The mix contains 1 cubic yard of our standard screened topsoil which is screened through a ¾” screen. Our standard topsoil is already amended with our O38 organic soil amendment but Jayme wanted even more so she asked them to add a full cubic yard of the O38 to the mix. Finally, they added 75 cubic feet of PittMoss

A front loader at JA Rutter Filling in the Pollinator Garden

Why is our O38 so great as a soil amendment?

  • Contains lots of organic matter, which our typical clay-cased PA soils are lacking
    • The organic matter is a food source for beneficial microorganisms that live in the soil.
  • Assists with water retention
  • Improves nutrient exchange between the soil and the plant

Soil conditioners are soil amendments that improve the soil structure by increasing aeration, water holding capacity, and nutrients. They loosen up compacted, hard pan and clay soils and release locked up nutrients. Soil conditioners can also raise or lower pH levels depending on what they are made of.

Organic matter causes soil to clump and form soil aggregates, which improves soil structure. With better soil structure, permeability (infiltration of water through the soil) improves, in turn improving the soil’s ability to take up and hold water.

038/PittMoss mixture

Why is PittMoss a great component to this mix?

  • PittMoss is made from organic, recycled paper that is locally sourced. This paper is engineered to provide the perfect environment for root development. 
  • PittMoss has the best possible balance of aeration and water absorption with a vast carbon source for mycorrhizae. 
  • The air space created, water retention and available carbon makes for exceptional root development and the best environment for those roots to obtain water and nutrients while the microbes thrive to further support the plants. 
  • PittMoss grows healthier plants & reduces root shock of transplanted plants. 
  • The high porosity of PittMoss saves water and improves drainage. The cellulosic fibers of PittMoss allow for applied water to be evenly distributed throughout the media. 
  • PittMoss requires 2/3 less water than peat-based blends. 
Plant layout