Soil is one of the most important parts of your garden. Whether you are looking to plant a new flowerbed or grow tomatoes, your soil quality will determine your success. There are several methods that people use to create excellent soil mixtures and maintain them. Finding the best ways to improve your soil will help you to quickly accomplish your goals.
Why You Should Plan Ahead:
Gardening is not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of factors that go into designing a proper garden. Soil conditions take time to establish and planting too early or in the wrong space can hurt your plant’s survival rate. Taking the time to plan your garden up to a month in advance can help you to create a garden that you can be proud to call your own.
Understand the Importance of Drainage:
According to Cornell University, plants prefer soil that is well-drained. Being able to control the moisture levels within your soil has a huge impact on how healthy your plants are. Both over- and under-watering are dangerous and can affect the life of the plant.
The best way to ensure the plants are getting the right amount of moisture is to understand how drainage works. When the soil is drained of excess moisture, the plants are able to take as much as they need to be happy. Avoid planting your garden in areas that are heavily affected by rain or have hard layers of top soil. Break up soil as much as possible before introducing your plants so that water can easily flow through the soil.
Testing Your Soil:
There are actually several tests that you can perform before planting to see if your soil is ready. This can take a lot of guess work out of the equation and help you to ensure that your plant will be in the ideal living space. Things like pH levels can have a huge impact on how well the plant thrives, and different plants prefer different levels. Even testing the soil for compaction levels can help you better plan your garden’s soil according to Organic Gardening.
Make a Special Space:
Ensuring that only your plants will grow in the area you have set aside for your garden is important. Invasive plant species can take nutrients from your garden and ruin your well-thought-out designs. Killing off any existing vegetation is a crucial step to starting a garden. This can be done by simply putting black tarp over your designated area.
Keep Up with Soil Maintenance:
Once you have established your soil and planted your garden, you will need to maintain the soil in order to keep it healthy. This can be done in a number of different ways. Many gardeners find that starting a compost pile and leaving two to four inches of organic matter on your soil at all times is beneficial. Others may find success if they only periodically check the moisture levels of their soil or have it tested. Find a method that works for the plants in your garden by doing research in advance and then following through.