How to Prepare Soil for Gardening Like a Pro
Do you know what’s the worst mistake you can make in gardening? It’s making use of lousy soil! Planting in your yard might be exciting as harvesting it but you have to be sure you’re using proper soil—not the thin, cheap one. So what should you do?
All you have to do is remember two words: DIG and FILL. Allow me to elaborate.
Dig – When I say dig, I don’t mean the shallow digging. I mean dig deep—about six to eight inches deep! Digging is so important because it allows the soil to loosen. Most of the plants are satisfied with the aforementioned depth of good soil. However, if you want to grow potatoes, carrots, or other substantial root crops, you have to dig at least a foot more.
You can also apply the “hilling technique”. This will require you to mound up good soil around the crops.
It’s vital to do this first step properly to make sure you get a whopping, palatable harvest.
When is the right time to dig, you ask? Well, you can get your garden ready the autumn before you plant. This way the soil and the organic materials you’ve added will be given time to settle down and adjust! Plus, doing this will lessen your work during spring.
On the other hand, if you don’t like this idea, you can always prep the soil in spring. Just remember to start at the right time. And when is that? Not too early. Don’t force your soil if it’s still a little soggy or frozen. This act can damage the soil! You’ll know it’s the right time when it falls apart after you take a handful and crush it.
Fill – Right after you dig, you should add organic material and not just settle with good ground. After all, investing in good soil will save you from unwanted problems and dismay in the future. You can use dehydrated cow manure, well-rotted horse manure, compost, shredded leaves, or a mixture of these.
With a fertile soil, you can deem this step as not-so-essential. However, it’s still advisable. You can always mix the organic matter with the native soil with a 1:1 ratio, or whatever ratio you prefer.
Organic matter can be deemed as your fairy godmother. She will transform your extremely sandy, lousy, or acidic soil to a good ground for growing plants. She will develop the soil for you. Just bear in mind that you have to nourish her at the outset of every growing season or perhaps more often.
Moreover, if the soil is one of the stubborn ones that hate improvements, set raised beds on top of it and fill the bottomless boxes with organically rich soil.