How to Improve Your Soil Health

Learn the best techniques for creating healthy soil to ensure your garden thrives. From composting to fertilizing, we've got you covered.

Creating the ideal soil for your garden is essential for successful plant growth. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process, from testing your soil to adding the right amendments. Get ready to transform your garden into a lush and vibrant paradise!

person holding brown and black frog
person holding brown and black frog

Add Compost

Compost is decomposed organic matter and the best thing to use to improve the health of garden soil. It helps in sustaining the balance between mineral particles, water, organic matter, air, and microorganisms, which is essential for healthy soil. You can learn more about how to make your own compost here.

Add Organic Matter

Organic matter is crucial for improving any soil. It can make heavy clay soil drain better, easier to dig, and not so hard or sticky. It can also help sandy soil hold together better and retain more moisture and nutrients.

Test Your Soil

selective focus photography of dried fruits on field
selective focus photography of dried fruits on field

Understanding the nutrient shortages in your soil is important. Once you know the deficiencies, you can nourish the soil with organic amendments for a nutrient boost. Testing the pH of your soil is also crucial to determine its acidity or alkalinity, which affects nutrient availability to plants.

Use Cover Crops

Growing cover crops such as buckwheat and clovers can add organic matter, lighten and loosen soil structure, and enrich garden nutrients. Cover crops also help in suppressing weeds and preventing soil erosion.

selective focus photography of amorseko grass
selective focus photography of amorseko grass

Let Wet Spring Soils Dry

It's important to avoid digging, walking on, or driving a rototiller over wet soils, particularly those with clays, as it can compact and damage the soil structure. Wait for the soil to dry out before working on it to prevent compaction.

Avoid Over-Tilling

Over-tilling can disrupt the soil structure. It's important to strike a balance and avoid excessive tilling. Tilling can disturb the natural soil layers and the beneficial organisms living within them, leading to soil compaction and reduced soil fertility.

Maintain Soil Health

Soil improvement is an ongoing process. Organic matter needs to be replenished frequently to keep the cycle going. Regularly adding compost, mulch, and other organic materials helps maintain soil health and fertility.

Use Nitrogen Sources

Additional nitrogen sources are needed when using compost as an amendment to ensure overall soil health. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth and is often deficient in garden soils. Adding nitrogen sources such as blood meal, fish emulsion, or alfalfa meal can help address this deficiency.

field on assorted-color flowers
field on assorted-color flowers

Control Weeds

Weeds compete with garden plants and steal organic food away from the living soil. Controlling weeds is essential for maintaining soil health. Mulching, hand weeding, and using weed barriers are effective methods for weed control.

By following these steps and working with your garden's soil, you can build better soil and create an environment where your plants can flourish. Remember, soil improvement is an ongoing process, and with good garden practices, you can build better soil over time