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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Amending Florida’s Nutrient Poor Soil Naturally

Sep 30, 2018 06:38AM ● By Manuel Valdez

All of Florida was once underwater. The majority of the Sunshine State eventually became swampland as the water drained away. As a result, when a newbie gardener digs a hole in their yard and turns over their first shovel of sand, it’s likely that they’ll be reminded of the beach. What this really means to a novice gardener is that because Florida’s soil composition is sorely deficient in nearly everything it takes to grow more than weeds, soil improvement is essential.   

According to University of Florida’s Gardening Solutions, our state’s gray, fine soil is called myakka, a Native American word meaning "big waters". Only found in Florida, our official state soil covers more than 1.5 million acres.

Improving this fine “sugar sand” can be accomplished using Florida-friendly organic matter. This results in more nutrition for plants, shrubs and turf grass, which means there is less need for applying insecticides. A free and easily accessible version of organic matter is found throughout Southwest Florida. By collecting dead palm fronds and purchasing a set of hand pruners, we can cut them up into fine pieces and make our own homemade mulch. Every palm tree sheds its fronds as it grows and the majority of homeowners put them out as yard waste to be gathered by Waste Management.

For more information about MPV Organic Lawn Care, located at 5416 Carlton St., in Naples, call 239-234-9299. Visit

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