Build Your Own Perfect Garden Soils
Garden soils are arguably the most important component in a successful garden. There are several ways to perfecting your own garden soils. Determine what type of soil you have and what you will need to add to build perfect soil. Clay is heavy, sticky and hard when dry, but usually very fertile. Sandy soil doesn’t retain water well, nor is it very fertile, but it is light. Loam contains a lot of organic material and is very fertile. Sandy loam with a bit of clay in it is generally considered to be perfect garden soil. Test your soil’s pH level. The perfect pH level for vegetables and fruit is slightly acidic to neutral, 5.5 to 7. Purchase a pH test kit online or at the garden center. Apply 1 to 2 inches of compost all over the garden every season. Compost is as close to a perfect soil amendment as you can get. Turn the compost into the top 2 to 3 inches of the garden with a digging fork, or rake the compost over the top of the garden soils, then cover it with 3 or 4 inches of dry leaves or straw.
Earthworms will incorporate the compost into the garden bed. Designate permanent paths and beds. Perfect garden soils are light and allows roots to grow easily. Walking on beds will compact the soil which can stunt plant growth. Plant a green manure or cover crop to improve soil fertility and structure. Green manures are grown during the summer, while cover crops are planted in the fall and turned in in the spring.
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