Monday, January 21, 2013

3 Easy Ways to Improve Soil

Improving your soil, adding nutrients to your soilSoil. It provides all the nutrients, water and a foundation that your plant needs. Other than the sun, it is the most important thing for your plants. One of the great things about it, is you can control how nutritious and moist it is for your plants to grow in! Having healthy soil will make all the difference in how much your garden produces. Those complements will start flying in after putting a little effort into improving your soil. So here are 3 easy things you can do to improve the soil in your garden.

  1. Organic Matter- by adding organic matter every year, it ensures that there is always a constant supply of nutrients being added back into your garden. A great free way to do that, is to compost your scraps and old garden material.

  2. Watering- Watering the right amount is very important. Your plants roots need some oxygen that is found in the empty spaces in the soil- so if you over water your plants, you would be starting them of some of the oxygen the roots need. They also need enough water to grow. A good way to check is to stick your finger into the soil until your second knuckle and if it feels wet, then it has enough water- if it feels dry or almost dry then it is time to add water. One way to ensure your plants get even watering is to set up an automatic watering system. The added work at first really pays off fast as the garden takes less maintenance  You should still be checking your garden to see if it is getting the right amount of water. In hot summer days, the water might need to be upped a bit as it evaporates quickly.

  3. Mulch- Spreading a healthy layer of mulch around all of your plants is a great way to help the soil stay moist and retain the moisture on those hot summer days. If you use an organic matter to mulch with, then that adds nutrients into the soil and kills 2 birds with one stone. As the organic matter in the mulch breaks down, it gets washed into the soil and to the roots of your plants. I like to add some every year, or even multiple times a year if it looks like it needs some. You should never see bare soil- it needs a good covering.

Happy Gardening!