Understanding Your Garden’s Soil

Understanding Your Garden’s Soil

Learn how to grow a healthy garden with great garden soil!

To grow a healthy garden that thrives with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, you must first start with great garden soil. By understanding your garden’s soil, you’ll ensure your plants receive the vital nutrients they need all season long. By starting your garden with great soil, you’ll provide your garden with the perfect plant conditions to grow a healthy garden.

The following article was taken from About Gardening on 17th January 2013.

Understanding Your Garden’s Soil

When growing a garden, many people forget to take note of their soil’s texture. You can perform simple tests to begin understanding your garden’s soil. To test your soil, you’ll need to pinch some of your soil while it’s moist. You want your garden’s soil to feel mealy. It should contain about 50 percent sand, no more than 30 percent silt and no more than 25 percent clay. Your soil should also contain around 10 percent organic matter.

When you pinch your soil, you can tell which vital components your soil is lacking. If your soil contains too much sand, it will crumble and feel gritty. Soil that contains too much silt will be slick and smooth; whereas, if your soil contains too much clay it will feel sticky.

If your garden’s soil is less than adequate, you can make simple changes to improve the soil’s organic matter and nutrient level. To test your soil’s current organic matter, take a spade full of moist soil and drop it onto a hard surface. Watch how the soil crumbles. If the soil crumbles into pieces that are about one and a half inches in diameter, your soil’s organic material is nearly perfect. However, if it breaks into larger crumbs or shatters too easily, you’ll need to make changes to your garden’s soil in order to grow a healthy garden.

After you’ve developed an understanding for your garden’s soil, you can begin making modifications to improve your soil’s quality. The best way to do this is to add organic matter. Use manure, chopped leaves, compost and other organic material. Rotate the mixture into your soil by digging as deep as possible. You should do this every year before starting your garden because your soil also needs oxygen, which will help break down the organic matter to release the nutrients your garden needs to thrive.

Tips to Grow a Healthy Garden

An important aspect of understanding your garden’s soil is to also know what to avoid. You don’t want your soil to be compact as it hinders water and air from penetrating the soil. You also want to ensure your soil is free from diseases and pests, which can not only survive on plants, but in your soil as well. These diseases and pests can often survive in the soil, even during the winter months. Therefore, your need to test your soil every season.

Understanding your garden’s soil is essential to grow a healthy garden. Take a few minutes to get to know your soil before planting.

Read More:  http://aboutgardening.com.au/understanding-your-gardens-soil/

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