Build Your Own Perfect Garden Soils

Build Your Own Perfect Garden Soils

Garden soils are arguably the most important component in a successful gardenThere 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.

Formal Garden With Trimmed Boxwoods

Formal Garden With Trimmed Boxwoods

Growing green manure or cover crops in the off season can improve garden soil, as well.

Backyard Garden With Walkway And Gravels

Backyard Garden With Walkway And Gravels

Outdoor Garden With Premium Soils

Outdoor Garden With Premium Soils

Good soil means it has nutrients to feed the plants and a texture that holds water long enough for plant roots to access it, but well-draining enough that the roots are not sitting in water.

Backyard Garden With Good Soils

Backyard Garden With Good Soils

The optimum garden soil depends largely on what you plan to grow. The pH, which is the measure of acidity or alkalinity, of the soil affects how well nutrients are absorbed by the plant roots.

Backyard Garden With Clay Soils

Backyard Garden With Clay Soils

Clay soil can feel like a curse to gardeners and can be difficult to plant, shovel or till. When it is compacted, it is nearly impossible to break up using only physical strength.

Perennial Garden With Loam Soils

Perennial Garden With Loam Soils

Loam is the ideal garden soil. Its texture is porous, allowing water to flow through slowly enough for the plants to access it, but fast enough to avoid water logged, soggy soil. Loam is also nutrient rich.

Outdoor Backyard Garden With Small Tree

Outdoor Backyard Garden With Small Tree

Every gardener quickly learns that good soil is vital for a healthy, productive garden.

Backyard Garden With Shrubs

Backyard Garden With Shrubs

Perfect soil is every gardener's dream. Reality usually falls short of perfection, but adding compost and other soil amendments can increase fertility and adjust the pH level, while low or no-till gardening techniques improve soil structure.

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