I'm a suburban gardener with a garden plot in the back yard. I've been at it for years, but recently I've been wondering if I could do better. If you're like me and want to improve your soil, here are a few tips to get started:
Soil is the foundation of all life. It's made up of organic matter, minerals and air. Soil provides nutrients for plants to grow and they in turn provide us with food or beauty in their flowers and foliage. A healthy garden begins with good soil!
To develop good soil, start with the best soil you can find and bring it on to your garden plot.
Good soil is made up of many things: organic matter, aeration, drainage and pH are just a few factors that determine how healthy a piece of land is.
Organic matter helps to improve drainage by holding water in the ground; when there's enough organic matter in your soil, it won't dry out as quickly when you water plants or dig holes for planting seeds. Aeration allows oxygen to reach roots so they can grow healthy without suffocating from too much moisture (or lack thereof). Finally, having proper drainage means less chance for root rot--which can kill even established plants!
Add compost and mulch to your soil to provide nutrients for your plants. Compost is organic matter that can be added to the soil in several ways, including:
You should work the compost and fertilizer into the soil so that it becomes part of it. To do this, use a garden fork or tiller to mix it well with your existing soil. If you don't have one of these tools, there are other ways to incorporate these materials into your garden plot:
Good, healthy soil is a key component of gardening success. The better your soil, the more likely it is that you'll be able to grow healthy plants and avoid pests or disease.
To improve your soil each year, add compost or mulch to the surface of your garden plot and dig it into the top few inches of soil (the "active" layer). Compost contains organic matter such as leaves and grass clippings that break down into nutrients for plants; mulch helps protect against weeds while adding some nutrients itself over time.
Soil is the foundation of all gardening, so it's important to start with healthy soil. You can build up your soil by adding compost, mulch and amendments.
Compost improves soil texture and structure by providing organic matter that helps retain moisture in the soil. It also contains beneficial microorganisms that help break down organic matter into nutrients for plants to use as they grow.
Mulch prevents weeds from germinating while retaining moisture in the soil underneath it--especially helpful during hot summers! By keeping moisture levels high, mulch helps keep plant roots cool so they don't have to work as hard at growing new leaves or flowers (which means less stress on them).
Compost and mulch are organic matter. Organic matter improves soil structure, which helps water and air infiltration.
Compost can be made from your own yard waste, or you can buy it in bags at the garden center. You can also use compost as mulch on top of your existing soil, instead of adding it directly to your garden plot (which would make it harder for plants to grow). Mulch is another great way of adding nutrients back into the soil while keeping weeds down!
Cover crops are a great way to build up your soil naturally. These plants can be planted in fall or spring, and they're usually grown to protect the soil from erosion and prevent weeds from growing.
Cover crops should be turned into the soil after harvest so that their nutrients will be absorbed by your garden plot next year.
Adding minerals such as phosphorus and potassium will also help your garden plot. Phosphorus can be added in the form of manure or bone meal, while potassium can be added in the form of greensand, granite dust and wood ash. Fertilizer containing these minerals is available at garden centers.
When you're growing plants, soil is the foundation of all gardening. Good soil will provide your plants with everything they need to thrive--from nutrients to moisture and air. Soil is a living thing that is constantly changing and evolving over time, influenced by its environment and what is in it.
Soil contains organic matter (dead plant or animal material) as well as minerals like sand, silt and clay. These three components make up what we call loam--the ideal type of garden soil for making new beds or improving existing ones!
So now that you know how to develop good soil in your garden, get out there and start improving it! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Suburban Soil. We're always happy to help our customers with their gardening needs.