Guides for Preparing Garden Soil
How To Make Garden Soil? A garden, just like life itself, requires attention and nurturing to get the best from it. We invest in ourselves by going through some apprenticeship to learn some life skills to have a successful life. Either way, making a dream come true is not always a walk in the path, one way or the other you will have to make your hands dirty for the greater good.
The same case goes for the soil. If you have a garden and expect something good to ever grow out of it, you have to customize the condition of the soil. The state of the ground has to be suitable for the intended purpose, whether growing, trees, flowers, or crops. The soil is the source of life for all the plants that thrive on land; therefore, you do not want to overlook the conditions that make the soil fertile.
What is garden soil?
Garden soil is slightly different from any other regular soil. It is a natural soil prepared from the most top layer of the natural land that regularly forms part of dirt. The topsoil is mixed with some organic matter to boost its nutrient content and then processed to get a fine soil type for gardening. You can find this type of soil packed in bags labelled as ‘Garden Soil’ and ready for sale in gardening stores.
There are different types of garden soil, as each type of well-prepared soil serves different purposes. Garden soil suitable for growing vegetables is just meant for vegetables and not flowers. You will realize that while using garden soil, good air and water circulation is needed because of the fine particles. Therefore it is noteworthy not to use a container or pot to hold your plant if you use garden soil.
A container does not provide a free environment for air circulation and also encourages too much water retention that is unhealthy for the plant.
How to make garden soil
Ever thought of turning your yard into a suitable garden? Well, there could be some characteristics that your yard soil lacks to make a perfect garden soil. The soil could have large particles and probably less organic matter. So how do you make the best of what you have? Here is a proven guide to making your garden soil in your back yard.
First, you have to set up a specific ground for preparing garden soil. Before you make any adjustments to the soil, you need to test the soil for organic content and soil pH. From the result of this test, you will be able to know what you need to add to the soil to improve its fertility. You can, therefore, decide to set up a composed pit if the soil is short of organic matter.
The soil pH informs you of the degree of acidity of the soil. Most plants do well with a neutral soil pH; therefore, if the result is negative, you will need to make some adjustments. The adjustment changes like adding lime may not take effect immediately; therefore, the best solution is to test the soil regularly. It is even economical if you buy the pH testers.
If the pH doesn’t change, you can either decide to change the type of crop to plant. A crop that requires the acidity level of your soil is also another solution.
The organic matter of the soil is essential, especially if you are performing organic gardening. The organic matter is a source of natural food for the plants since nature has it that plants feed on the decaying organic matter. The organic matter plays different roles in the soil. They boost soil fertility by acting as mulches and sometimes control erosion.
The microorganisms in the soil also feed on the organic matter. The organisms improve air circulation in the soil in the soil. Hence, their absence affects the soil in one way or the other. And when they die, they decay and add nutrients to the soil. Therefore the more organisms in the soil, the higher the nutrient content of the soil. Organic matter can exist in different forms that include:
It consists of decayed natural materials. You can buy the compost manure or make your own on the farm. A full, processed composite makes the soil highly nutritious. The compost that is ready for use is always black, accompanied by an earthy smell. You can make the compost pile in layers.
The layers consist of green leaves from the bottom, followed by dry leaves. The dry leaves prevent the green leaves from drying out. The next layer consists of crops, kitchen residue, and animal remains. Once the soil microbes have accelerated the decaying process, the compost can, therefore, be applied as topdressing.
The artificial compost that you can buy from stores is also an alternative. Adding synthetic compost is beneficial for the intended purpose of the garden soil. They contain the necessary types of nutrients needed in the soil for the crop to do well.
Natural manure from animals is very rich in nutrients but only after more than six months of decaying in the soil. If you use the manure during its early stages, you can risk burning your crops with the bacteria released from the manure.
Green manure is only compost of green plant leaves. There are specific crops that are grown to serve as green manure when they decay. Some of those crops include legumes, clover, barley, and buckwheat.
Adding peat moss
Peat moss is very useful in improving the water retention capacity of the soil. Compost consists of very many materials that make it bulky. Adding peat moss to compost reduces the weight of the soil. The reduced weight of the soil enhances the natural movement of the roots in the soil
It is not advisable to use wet soil when making garden soil. Therefore you should check at the moisture content of the soil. When you realize the high moisture content of the soil, drying the soil could be your next step. The moisture content of the soil also depends on its texture, which brings you to the next step to consider.
Soil structure is significant in gardening soil. A good soil structure for gardening has functional water drainage capacity, fine texture, and sufficient air circulation. The texture of the soil depends on the amount of sand, loam, and clay soil content. Good garden soil is not just fine but has a perfect balance of the three types of soil.
You can improve the structure of the soil through tilling. Another method is the organic matter in the soil. The organic matter is vital for the soil-dwelling organisms which aerate the soil. Cover crops such as legumes are ideal in improving the structure of the soil. They fix nitrogen into the soil to disintegrate the carbon found in grassroots.
The fertility of the soil can be improved artificially. The inorganic fertilizer is perfect in the supply of the most valuable nutrients to crops. The three most fundamental nutrients should not miss in the soil. They include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
The nitrogen-fixing bacteria convert the nitrogen into nitrates for use by plants. Nitrogen is responsible for stem growth in plants and healthy leaf development.
For garden soil used for flowering, the content of phosphorus in the land should be able to accelerate the flowering of the plants. Phosphorus is essential for the root development of plants. Potassium, on the other hand, improves the immune system of plants. It keeps the plant healthy as it grows.
The last step is to till the garden soil. During tilling, ensure the soil is free from any weed. Tilling keeps the soil health as it improves the soil structure. At this stage, you should be watering the soil regularly.
The steps above are beneficial and produce good garden soil. The results you get from the steps above depend on the garden soil type. The different types of garden soil you can choose from include:
Topsoil: It is majorly the topmost layer of the soil before you interfere with its composition. Disorienting the composition involves interfering with its organic content and structure of the soil.
Garden soil: It is the resulting soil after adjusting the structure and fertility of the soil.
Potting soil: It is not entirely soil since you can find it at the base of containers or pots used in plant growth. The bottom of the container can be a constituent of peat moss materials, bark dust, and perlite.
A good gardening soil should have all the required nutrients in perspective of the purpose of the garden. Organic soil gardening works better with organic soil since it is environmentally friendly. Organic soil consists of naturally made ingredients that are harmless to the environment. Again, using organic soil is economical since it can make your crops resistant to pest and disease attack. Therefore you do not have to spend money on pest and disease control.
Organic soil gardening is one of the best approaches to making garden soil. It is majorly the choice of most gardeners since it conserves the topsoil and protects the soil against any contamination.
A garden, just like life itself, requires attention and nurturing to get the best from it. We invest in ourselves by going through some apprenticeship to learn some life skills to have a successful life. Either way, making a dream come true is not always a walk in the path, one way or the other you will have to make your hands dirty for the greater good.
The same case goes for the soil. If you have a garden and expect something good to ever grow out of it, you have to customize the condition of the soil. The state of the ground has to be suitable for the intended purpose, whether growing, trees, flowers, or crops. The soil is the source of life for all the plants that thrive on land; therefore, you do not want to overlook the conditions that make the soil fertile. So, now you have all you need to know how to make garden soil.