Gardening: Fixing Garden Soil

 Fixing Garden Soil

Fixing Garden Soil
Fixing Garden Soil

Ok so we have tested our soil for pH. If you haven't done this it! It is important to know your levels. For a little about pH levels check here.

You can get yhe levels checked by taking some soil into your local nursery, or you can buy a tester.

If you have good soil, awesome (I'm so envious!!) But if you are like the rest of us (sigh) and have bad soil, here's a few tips to make it better, and more suitable for your garden plants. Remember, this takes time, and you will see improvement in a few months, not a few weeks.

Adding Nutrients

There are 2 types of fertilizer: organic, and inorganic. Inorganic is cheaper, and it acts on plants quickly, but in the long run it can actually damage the soil, and you may be left worse than where you started. Inorganic fertilizers feed the plant, and don't improve the soil (but you want to improve the soil, trust me). Plants build up resistance to these kind of fertilizers, and so the more you use them, the more you have to keep using, and the worse the soil can get. Not a pretty picture.

So what to do? Go organic.

Organic stuff will work over a longer period, but this is good, as the nutrients are released over a longer period of time. Ask your local green thumb at the nursery for advice about the nutritional content of organic fertilisers, but as a rule it should have nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Manure and fish is good for nitrogen, bone meal for phosphorous, and wood ash for potassium.

If you get the pH level tested, you will know which supplements to use (and once again, ask the eager-beaver at the nursery, they usually love talking about this stuff....a little bit too much...sometimes you have to edge away).

Adding Organic Matter

If you add organic matter, it will improve the fertility and texture of your soil. 'What does this mean?' you say, well you haven't been reading my articles. See here. There are a few things you can try that will not only improve the quality of your soil and plants, but will improve the entire eco-system!

  1. Compost is cool. (And it has the added advantage of putting your vegatable scraps to great use!). There will be an article on composting at a later date.
  2. Manure stinks, but it's also cool. Get it from nurseries and stables, and compost it until it is black, otherwise the ammonia can actually burn the plants.
  3. Grass clipings are good to work into the soil.
  4. Well that's it for now. Take these considerations on board and start doing the right thing for the plants and the eco-system. I must thank

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