Before you start your new garden, you have to take the right steps to ensure your soil is healthy. This process can sometimes be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
For instance, it’s wise to first choose a location that has excellent sun exposure, has good drainage, and is free of unwanted root systems from other plants. Also, you should conduct a soil test for clay and sand content. After this, you will remove roots, debris and rocks. Lastly, you will want to add organic matter and soil amendments such as sand and clay. The following are the steps to follow:
Check the Soil Condition
Using a shovel, dig some soil and see what it is made up of. It may be good rich dirt or have a lot of clay, or it is sandy. Soil that contains a lot of clay or sand may not be ideal for garden plants. Soil that gets an adequate amount of air should be fluffy.
At this point, try to use this opportunity to check whether your medium contains a lot of insects and worms. Such type of soil can be productive, but keep in mind that black or dark brown soil is good as it usually means it contains a lot of nutrients and decomposing organic matter.
Test Nutrients and pH
You can also check the pH of the soil. You can purchase a home test kit or take the soil sample to the local extension office for testing. If you are planning to grow vegetables or flowers, the ideal pH is 6.0 to 7.5. If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime. If the soil lacks vital nutrients, you can add compost and fertilizer.
Add Soil Amendments
After testing the soil and checking its composition, you can determine whether you should add clay, sand, or topsoil. This will ensure you have the right mixture for the new garden. You need to ensure that the amendments are based on the results. You should avoid overdoing it by adding a lot of clay, rocks and even sand in most cases. It is a good idea to add perlite or gypsum to help aerate the soil, however, you should only do this if the tests show that the soil has low oxygen content.
This should be enough to get your soil to the most growable and usable source of plant nutrients for many years. Remember that all soil and medium is not created equal, and your plants should be well researched to ensure you’re following the proper steps to promote the healthiest plants and crops.