It’s common knowledge that one of the most effective ways to ensure you have a healthy garden is by having healthy soil. This is simply because such soils have more nutrients which are beneficial to the plants. Having healthy soil that will be beneficial to the specific type of plants on your garden requires very deliberate care from your part.
Here are 3 simple tips on how to improve your garden soil.
Learn about soil composition
Typically, the most optimal soil for a garden is loam because it drains well, has conditions that are ideal for growing, nutrients retention as well as root support. However, not all gardens will have loam soil. Some may have sandy soil which mostly has large particles therefore water as well as nutrients drain from it too quickly therefore starving plants of much needed water and nutrients. Some have clay soil which has very small particles therefore they hold too much water and become soggy and this is not ideal for most plants. Having an understanding of soil composition puts you in a better position to identify what soil problems your garden may be having.
Get to know your soil
Once you understand what soil composition is all about, it’s time to know your garden soil and what it’s composed of so that you can be able to find a specific remedy for it. There are simple DIY steps for identifying soil composition in your garden such as taking a clean transparent jar and adding about 1/3 cup of soil from your garden then add about an inch of water to the jar, shake it and wait for about a minute. The particles that usually settle first are sand. Mark the part of the jar where the sand settles. Let the jar stay untouched for a day or two to allow the other particles to settle. Generally, clay will take the longest time to settle. The soil type that will form the dominant layer in your jar is most likely the soil type that your garden is mostly composed of.
Find out your soil pH
Once you know the soil type in your garden, the next step is finding out the soil pH which is essentially the level of acidity or alkalinitythat your soil has.This you can do on your own by purchasing a testing kit at your local garden shop. Most plants will require a specific acceptable pH level therefore once you know the pH level of your soil, you can consult an expert to see how best to raise or lower your pH in order to get it to the optimum level for plants to thrive.
You must however never assume that your garden soil needs to be improved, you must be sure that it does need improvement. Some plants may not do well not because of the poor quality of the soil but because the plants need a specific type of environment to thrive. Therefore don’t be quick to start introducing soil improvement measures until you have tested your soil to find out whether it indeed has a problem.