Today we are talking soil…
Dishing the dirt on how to improve soil.
This is the second post in my series YOUR GARDEN FROM THE GROUND UP.
You can read part one drawing a garden plan here.
Let me be brutally honest, while I think YOU are absolutely fabulous in every way, I know your soil isn’t.
Nobody’s is – not mine – not Martha’s – nobody’s.
You can accept that truth and do nothing or do something super easy, changing the playing field, so to speak.
I know you are a do-er so let’s get to it.
I am going to have to do it too. Look at what I am up against. YIKES!
As many of you know I am deep in the midst of renovating a 129 year Victorian farmhouse. Have a look here. What you might not know is that the previous owner of 50+ years was elderly & a hoarder of olympic proportion. The debris pile you see is some of the last of his stuff including a broken down fence. He wasn’t a gardener let’s just say. Oh, the RH box is mine – front porch cushion!
Can’t believe I am showing you my current backyard! Better to appreciate the after my dear!
So what are we going to do to get the garden of our dreams?
We are going to Improve the Soil with Amendments.
As you can see my backyard is in dire need of improvement on all levels. The front garden is in a bit better shape & has some scraggily pops of color. Sharing those bright spots throughout the post. There is hope!
How to Easily Improve Soil
Unamended gardens provide less than an ideal environment for many plants.
Too rocky, scraped bare from new construction, too clay-like, too sandy...
You can’t really change the soils basic texture, but YOU CAN IMPROVE ITS STRUCTURE making it better for your plants
You can do this by simply adding amendments.
Kinda like a man, (no offense to my male readers) you can’t change his innate ‘fashion sense’, but you can improve his wardrobe.
Ok, back to talking dirt…
Ph balance, nitrogen, organic vs synthetic, granular vs. liquid, when, which plants and all those big bags at the nursery promising award winning tomatoes & roses can make gardening seem a lot more complicate than it is.
It is actually quiet simple.
Plants have basic needs just like me & you. If you consider & provide for those basic needs, while I can’t promise you a blue ribbon, you will have a healthy, productive garden.
So what are a plant’s basic needs & how can they be easily met?
Plant’s Basic needs:
- healthy nutritious soil
Today we concern ourselves with the healthy nutritious soil need.
Now for the HOW – pay attention here – to provide your garden with healthy nutritious soil.
To provide your plants with a healthy nutritious soil you improve it by working in the best amendment of all ~ organic matter.
It is that simple.
Organic matter is the best amendment for soil of any texture.
What is Organic Matter & how do you get it in your soil
Organic matter is – kinda well, earthy. Ok, it is decaying remains of plants & animals.
Now I am not suggesting you catch squirrels & bury them in your yard.
You can simply buy bags of organic matter and work it into your soil.
There are three basic types of organic matter:
- compost (decomposed food scraps & yard waste)
- well rotted manure (need I define further? – I’ll just say, “wear gloves”.)
- soil conditioners (combo of several organic amendments sold in bags – think multi vitamin for your soil)
There are so many soil conditioners on the market I might just do a separate post to demystify shopping for those.
Of course, you can make your own compost or purchase any of the three.
Are you asking why not just fertilize? Good question!
This is why – Fertilizer feeds the plants. Organic matter feeds the soil.
Do both! Both work hand in hand to produce the garden of your dreams.
Bottom Line: Improve your garden soil by amending with organic matter
Here’s to beautiful flowers & a bumper crop!
** Kelly **
If you missed Part One of my series Your Garden From the Ground Up read it here.