Whether you are new to the world of gardening or are already an expert, the condition of your garden soil is always an area every gardener wants the lowdown on. Ideally, you want it to be easy to work with, light, and fluffy so that when it comes to growing your plants, they will grow in nourishing soil.
Here are 5 simple steps for improving your garden soil.
1. Supply it with what it’s missing
When the process of soil building begins, it recycles and maintains most of its nutrients over the course of a few seasons while decreasing the need for added fertilizers. When you are ready to plant vegetables using Epsom salt as tomato fertilizer is a great way to get your tomatoes growing healthily.
However, when establishing a new garden, you can use organic fertilizers and lime to ensure proper nourishment for the season ahead. If you’ve unluckily missed the fall time frame to add mineral fertilizers and lime, you can add them some weeks before planting in spring.
2. Feed your soil an organic diet
Living soil has the same four requirements that we as humans do:
The best time to achieve healthy garden soil is during the autumnal period, so bring in the organic materials! This could be:
- Garden debris
- Fallen leaves
- Kitchen scraps
- Apples gathered from under fruit trees
You could also:
- Chop organic material and insert directly into the top 2 inches and cover with mulch
- Add concentrated manures, potassium fertilizers, and mineral phosphorus to help aid this process further
This will give your soil the organic diet it is yearning for, giving the material time to break down for use just in time for spring.
3. Grow your own
Grow your own cover crop to add to the organic matter you may already have. This will lighten and loosen soil structure while enriching garden nutrients. Cover crops include:
- Buckwheat and phacelia during the summer
- Daikon, vetch, and clovers in the fall
These ingredients will be perfect for improving the condition of your soil.
4. Don’t overlook nitrogen
Of all the vital nutrients your soil needs, nitrogen earns a special mention. Even though a living soil will recycle and preserve other mineral nutrients, nitrogen is found in a small portion that is available to plants. Nitrogen is an essential component of garden growth and long-term soil health.
To ensure that your soil has enough nitrogen to keep it growing healthily, you can count all the sources you have added into the soil containing elements of it. The following sources consist of nitrogen:
Seed, blood, or feather meal
- Plant cover crops
- Manures or green grass clippings
5. Purchase a test kit
Soil tests are a necessary garden tool. If an indispensable nutrient is missing, garden and soil health will have to bear the brunt of it. So taking a nutrient test in the late summer or early fall is a good idea. You will have to submit a test patch to a certified lab so that you can know the science behind your soil. The results will give you a clear indication of what your garden requires.
Bonus Tip: Give your Garden Time
Overall, you can follow these five simple steps to improve your garden soil. Each point is cost-effective and easily achievable. Just remember that you need patience. You won’t see a change overnight, and it will take time to get it right, but the results are worth it. You’ll have healthier plants and feel like a better gardener because of it.