I saw a product just recently that could be spread over the flower bed (pellets??) and then thoroughly watered. They claimed it would change the soil eventually but actually saw results the first season. Claim was that it would allow oxygen to get down to the roots, etc. Anyone know what it is? Does it really work? Or do you have something better to use? By the way, I am disabled and can't do real strenous work so this really appealed to me!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I think you may be referring to Liquid Soil Aerators. There are a few products out there that come under this heading but they all work pretty much the same way, which is to work to decrease the surface tension of water, as well as having elements that help to break down organic material in the soil faster, The speeded up break down of organic materials not only makes the nutrients in these materials more readily available to the plants but creates pockets in the soil. The reduced surface tension on the water allows it to get deeper in the soil, which helps with root development.
I have never used one of these products but it seems as long as you have soil that has organic material in it, it would work well. But soils like very heavy clay soil, which is lacking in organic material, this would not work as well. Since I am not sure how heavy your clay is, I can not say how well it would work.
If you have heavy clay soil and you are looking for an easy way to aerate and improve it, invest in earthworms. Earthworms can be placed on the soil and will tunnel through the soil, leaving pockets of air in the soil as they go. They also leave behind *ahem* organic material after they eat, which helps improve the nutrients in the soil.