The quality of soil in your garden plays a significant role in determining how healthy the plants will be. Better soil means that your plants will grow much better. Below are a few tips which can help you improve your garden’s soil quality.
Improve Soil Drainage
As a start, you need to evaluate the drainage of your soil and figure out ways of improving it. Please note that this is not as complicated as it may sound. You only need to dig a hole which is about one foot deep, on either side of the garden. Fill the void with water and then let it drain out. Fill it with water again, but this time with a ruler inserted in the hole. You should measure how much the level of water will drain within an hour.
Your soil can be considered to have poor drainage if the level of water drops less than an inch within an hour. If the level decreases by more than six inches, your soil could be dry. Anything between one and six inches can be considered ideal.
Use a Cover Crop
A cover crop is used to protect your soil during the winter season, which is planted at the end of the gardening season. Cover crop helps to prevent soil erosion and reduces compaction as well. Some cover crops can also allow water and air to get into the soil quickly. The best plants to use, include grasses, grains, or legumes, which can be tilted over easily during springtime.
Compost offers a variety of benefits to garden soil. For example, it can help to sort out any drainage issue. This is because compost adds structure to the soil, irrespective of whether it is too dense or too dry.
Compost also makes the roots of your plants grow much deeper into the soil, which makes them stronger. Deeper roots allow the plants to get more nutrients from the soil, resulting in bigger and hardier plants. Compost is also known to have microorganisms, which help to aerate and improve the soil’s condition. These organisms play a part in discouraging various types of plant diseases.
Do Some Mulching
Mulching is an excellent way of ensuring the temperature of soil remains stable. The mulch can also be food for the beneficial microorganisms and worms which live in your soil.
Keep Monitoring the Quality of Your Soil
It is vital that you take soil samples for testing regularly. The test will give you useful chemical information such as the PH of the soil and the levels of minerals like phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. With the information, you will know how to adjust the soil to a way that it fits the plants that you are gardening.
Learn About Soil Composition
Soil can be either coarse, medium, or fine. Medium soil is generally the best for a garden. You can check the soil composition in your yard by taking a soil sample and adding it in a bottle of water. Shake the container with the soil sample in water and leave it to settle. The soil will settle in bands, with sand being at the bottom, silt in the centre, and clay at the top. If the ratio of the composition is not suitable for gardening, you should consider making some adjustments to your garden soil.