Are you looking to spruce up your garden but don’t want a huge project? You can improve garden soil easily with simple steps. Start by getting your soil tested. When you test the soil, you can determine what nutrients the soil is lacking. If it has too much nitrogen, you can bury layers of cardboard or bark chips or add compost. If the soil is acidic, add lime. You can buy soil testing kits or hire a local test lab to do soil tests.
The key to a bountiful vegetable garden starts with the soil. When preparing your soil to grow a vegetable garden, it is a good idea to feed it the nutrients it needs, and this can be done either by adding compost or fertilizers. The best method for fertilizing your vegetable garden and creating fertile, rich soil is to add compost.
The soil in your garden is the foundation of your plants—everything starts with the soil, and the plants grow out of it. So, how can you improve that soil?
Six (6) Tips from How to Greatly Improve Your Garden Soil
- Till the soil.
Tilling the soil in your garden is a quick and easy way to improve the health of the soil, and it can make your garden soil ready for planting. Tilling the soil breaks up deep soil layers, which will also allow the roots of your plants to have access to more nutrients.
- Add compost.
Compost is a rich source of nutrients and organic matter that can be used to improve the soil in your garden. Adding compost improves the structure of the soil, helping plants grow better.
- Add manure.
Manure is another easy way to add organic matter to the soil in your garden. Manure is a nutrient-dense material that can help plants grow strong roots.
- Mix in soil conditioners.
Mix in soil conditioners (also known as soil amendments) are materials that help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, help plants grow better, reduce erosion, and absorb pollutants. Compost, manure, wood shavings, and peat moss are the most commonly used soil amendments.
- Adding lawn clippings.
Lawn clippings help soils retain moisture by improving the soil’s nutrient-holding capacity.
- Adding organic matter.
In soil that has been cultivated, organic matter is needed to help improve nutrient retention and aeration in the soil. Still, in soil that doesn’t receive much in the way of cultivation, organic matter is needed to jump-start the nutrients already present.
Garden soil is a major part of our lives. We grow food in it, plant flowers in it, and even play in it, but most of us pay little attention to the soil until there is a problem. Then, we either ignore it or over-treat it. The key to good, healthy soil is balance. Your garden bed’s soil should contain a balance of both beneficial nutrients and unhealthy nutrients. That balance, however, can be disrupted by many factors, including but not limited to animal waste, excessive plant nutrients, and excess water. If your soil has become unbalanced, you can correct the problem by adding beneficial nutrients, such as compost, and reclaiming the unhealthy nutrients by adjusting your watering practices and schedules.
The pros of hiring a pro are that they can take care of your garden for you and ensure that you aren’t stuck using up valuable gardening time figuring out what needs doing. The cons, however, are that professional gardeners are expensive, they won’t necessarily answer all of your gardening questions, and you may not have the time to tend to your garden, especially if it’s an important part of your social life.
Great soil is the key to growing a garden, and gardening is a fun way to stay healthy, eat fresh and save some money in the process. However, garden soil requires constant attention, and if you don’t have proper soil conditions, your garden will suffer. The soil composition (loose, compact, loamy), soil fertility, drainage, mulching, and irrigation all have a major effect on the soil in your vegetable garden. Fortunately, there are seven tips to help improve your garden soil to have healthy, growing to produce all season long.