Soil Conditioners (54 items found)

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Poor soil conditions can wreak havoc on your lawn. Whether you're dealing with sandy soil, soil with excessive clay, nutrient-depleted soil, or a combination of issues, Ace Hardware carries a variety of soil conditioners for lawns to keep your yard looking its best. Learn about the most common types of soil conditioners to make the right decision for your yard.

What is a Lawn Conditioner?

A soil conditioner is any type of material that can be added to soil to improve its properties, such as drainage, aeration, water retention and permeability. Unlike fertilizers that add nutrients to soil, soil enhancers promote an ideal environment for roots and plants to thrive by changing the condition of the soil itself. Some soil conditioners reduce compaction to enable nutrients, minerals and water to move without restriction and reach plant roots.

Other soil enhancers help to maintain moisture and the proper pH balance of soil. Plants rely on a variety of nutrients to maintain normal, healthy growth, and many of these nutrients come from soil. Soil pH plays a key role in determining whether your plants, edibles and grasses will get the essential nutrients they need to flourish.

Inorganic Vs. Organic Soil Conditioners

Two broad categories of soil conditioners include inorganic and organic options. 

  • Inorganic soil conditioners for lawns are either man-made or mined. 
  • Organic soil conditioners come from live, organic matter such as grass clippings, wood chips, compost, manure or straw. Over time, organic soil conditioners may improve both the nutrient- and -water holding capacity of soil.

Common Types of Soil Conditioners for Lawns

There are several types of soil conditioners available in today's market. Each soil enhancer may play a different role in promoting healthy lawn grasses and plants. Some of the most common types of lawn conditioners include:

  • Garden lime: When garden lime is used to restore the optimum pH balance of soil, plants and grasses benefit. Garden lime works to raise pH levels, which is particularly useful for overly acidic soils. 
  • Perlite soil: This soil enhancer works to improve aeration and drainage. Perlite soil conditioners improve soil structure and reduce soil compaction.
  • Soil sulfur: For soils with higher pH levels, soil sulfur conditioners offer a cost-effective way to lower pH levels. Soil sulfur is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll.
  • Iron sulfate: Recommended for the prevention and correction of chlorosis, iron sulfate for lawns aids in creating acidic soil conditions where lawns, plants and shrubs can thrive. 
  • Gypsum: Gypsum soil conditioners may improve the aeration of compact soils which can help water drain more efficiently.
  • Aluminum sulfate: For use on plants and shrubs that require higher acidity levels such as azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas and junipers, aluminum sulfate for plants helps to acidify soil. 

Which Soil Conditioners Do You Need?

Your soil's pH levels are constantly changing. While you can determine some qualities of your soil by monitoring its consistency, soil testing can provide an easy way to understand your soil's pH levels, texture and other important qualities. Soil testing results also offer recommendations about the types of soil conditioners your yard and garden may need.

Shop the array of soil test kits and soil conditioners for lawns at Ace Hardware now. Then, improve the condition of your yard by browsing our selection of grass seeds from top-rated brands.