Landscaping Topsoil, Nutrients and Soil Amendments, Part 1

Landscaping Topsoil, Nutrients and Soil Amendments, Part 1

The soil in your garden or landscape plays a vital role in several major areas, and one of the most prominent is helping provide nutrients to various plant life. There are many different quality levels for topsoil when it comes to nutrients and healthy plants, and you want to ensure your landscape is using the proper type.

At Utah Landscaping Rock, we provide a variety of topsoil delivery products and services to meet all your landscaping topsoil needs throughout the year. One vital area of landscaping topsoil to be aware of is known as a soil amendment, which refers to an addition to the soil that contains some level of nutrient to enhance the physical properties of the soil. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over not only many of the nutrients your plants require and how soil helps provide them, but also some basics on soil amendments and whether your soil might require an amendment to reach proper nutrient levels.

Are you concerned your topsoil isn’t providing proper nutrients to plants in your landscape? Here are some basics on soil amendments and nutrients.

Primary Nutrients

While nutrient needs will vary from plant to plant, there are several prominent nutrients that are required by virtually all plants to survive on a daily basis. These nutrients are directly related to basic plant functions, from their ability to resist disease to their foliage, flower group, fruiting and root development.

The primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which are only topped by natural elements such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in terms of how often they’re used in plants. Virtually all plant soil will contain at least some level of these primary nutrients, and often high levels.

Secondary Nutrients

When we talk about secondary nutrients, it’s important to properly frame this term. In many cases, for instance, secondary nutrients aren’t needed in fewer plants – rather, they’re simply needed in smaller quantities, though nearly all plants do need them.

Generally speaking, we’re talking about nutrients like magnesium, calcium and sulfur in soil. These all have important health ramifications on various plants, and it’s not uncommon to see soil amendments aimed at boosting one or more of these secondary nutrients.


Again, stick to our theme from above: While many of these micronutrients are actually needed by a wide variety of plants, they tend to be required in much smaller amounts. We’re talking about micronutrients like boron, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, nickel, molybdenum and cobalt.

In many cases, the soil amendments regularly offered will contain one main nutrient – this will usually be a primary or secondary nutrient you’re looking to maximize in your landscaping. In addition, the amendment will also contain a small amount of various micronutrients to boost soil from this angle as well.

For more on soil amendments and soil nutrients, or to learn about any of our landscape supply services, speak to the staff at Utah Landscaping Rock today.

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