Could unhealthy soil be ruining your garden? Does everything you plant always dies in a matter of weeks? Maybe you just aren’t a natural gardener and you should consider looking for simpler plants to grow. Or maybe it’s the soil.
In some cases, people are not great at keeping up with watering. Or they don’t understand the care needs of their plants, so they end up dying. If you are not willing to look after your plants in the right way, maybe gardening isn’t for you. But what if you are doing everything right and your plants still don’t survive?
This is a common problem and it often comes down to unhealthy soil. Even if you plant in the right place and have a strict watering schedule, plants will still struggle if the balance of nutrients in the soil isn’t right. If this is a problem in your garden, you have a few options; you could look into your options for soil-free gardening, which involves growing plants in a water solution that is filled with nutrients.
Alternatively, you can take steps to fix your soil. This is the better choice if you want to plant flowers and decorative plants in your garden. These are some of the best ways to fix the soil in your garden so your plants can thrive.
Make Your Own Compost
You probably already know that you need some good quality compost if you want plants to grow well. It contains all sorts of vitamins and nutrients that help plants to thrive. So finding good compost is essential. But instead of buying it all of the time, why not just make it instead? You can get some great Maze compost bins online that make it quick and easy to make your own compost at home.
All of the food waste from the kitchen and any garden waste can go into your composter. This will be used to feed your garden and keep the soil healthy. Not only do you save a lot of money, but homemade compost is usually more effective than store bought. If you want to fix the unhealthy soil in your garden, this is the best place to start.
Feed Your Soil
Many people don’t realize that soil is like a living organism and it needs to be fed. If you want to improve your soil health, it’s important that you feed it the right stuff throughout the year. When you are filling your composter, set aside some of those food scraps and fallen leaves because they are perfect for feeding your soil.
Starting around Autumn time, chop these organic materials into the top layer of soil and then cover it over with a bit of mulch. By the time Spring rolls around, all of that goodness will have broken down into the soil and provided the nutrients that it needs to support healthy plant growth.
As well as general organic material, there are some specific nutrients and minerals that your unhealthy soil will need. Phosphorus and Potassium based fertilizers work wonders on your soil and adding lime should make a difference as well. At this stage, you should also consider adding some manure to the soil.
Till Your Soil
Tilling is a process that helps to mix organic matter into the soil so the deeper layers of soil are just as healthy as the top layers. Before tilling, your soil needs to be warm and dry, so it’s usually best to do it in the Spring. First, take a handful of soil and squeeze it into a ball. If it comes apart easily then the soil is ready for tilling but if it sticks together, then you need to wait longer.
If the soil is ready, you can use a tilling machine with a series of blades, which turn the soil as you go up and down. Go slowly and create distinct lines, and only go over each area once because excess tilling can do damage to the soil.
Alternatively, you can till your soil naturally with worms, but this does require more planning. You need to build layers of compost on the surface of the soil, alternating between green and brown compost with layers that are around 4 inches deep.
This will encourage the worms to burrow through the soil, eating and transporting food and improving the structure and overall health of the soil. This process takes quite a while so it’s best to get started around 3 months before you want to start planting or, if you are creating a brand new garden, start a year in advance.
Test Your Soil Regularly
General feeding is important but if you want to maximize your plant growth, you need to know whether your soil is missing anything specific so you can adjust your feeding regime and make sure that the balance of nutrients and minerals in the soil is just right. That’s why regular testing is so important but a lot of novice gardeners never even consider testing their soil.
If you are planting in your garden for the first time or you notice that a lot of plants have been struggling over the last few years, it’s a good idea to conduct a soil test so you know exactly what you are working with. You can buy a simple soil pH test that you can conduct yourself but if you want more detailed results, you will have to find a soil testing company with a professional lab. They will take your sample, analyze it, and send you a full breakdown of exactly what is in your unhealthy soil. From there, you can start feeding your soil to make sure it’s in perfect health.
It’s a good idea to test your soil regularly, even if you don’t notice any issues. This will let you know whether there are any slight imbalances, which you can fix before the soil gets too bad and your plants start dying off.
If you follow these steps before you start planting, you can drastically improve your soil health and your plants will thrive as a result. … and your outdoor living lifestyle will be greatly enhanced!