How to Prepare Soil for a Healthy Garden

Healthy plants are a result of healthy, nutritious soil and a healthy environment. If your garden has really healthy soil, you will have to use a minimal amount of fertilizers and pesticides.  

The healthiest and best soil for your garden is organic soil which is rich in matter that is a result of decayed leaves, grass clippings, and compost. Organic soil holds moisture and also but drains well. It is loose and fluffy in nature, which provides sufficient air to plant roots. It also has plenty of minerals which are vital to vigorous plant growth.

Organic soil is filled with living organisms like earthworms, fungi, and bacteria all of which help to maintain the quality of soil. Healthy soil also has a balanced, neutral pH.

So how can you check if your soil is healthy? Read on to find out what you need to prepare the best quality soil for your garden to bloom.

 Determine Soil Health

Grab a handful of soil to understand better what it’s made of, what its texture feels like, and the colour of the soil. Soil texture depends on how much sand, silt and clay is present in the soil. Sand makes for the biggest pieces in soil, and its particles feel gritty to the touch.

You can check for silt particles by the way they feel. They are slippery when wet and powdery when dry. Clay has the smallest pieces in soil, and its particles are flat and tend to stack together like sheets of paper.

Sandy soils aren’t high in nutrients, and water content as both these can drain easily through the large spaces between the particles of sand. They also have low quantities of organic matter and healthy microbes which plants need to thrive. Silty soils are dense and have low drainage. They are higher in fertility compared to soils that are sandy or clay soils. Clay soils are heavy and dense, they don’t drain well and become hard and start to crack when dry. Clay particles are closely stuck to each other which doesn’t leave much space for organic matter or microbes to grow in soil.

Compost

Adding compost can significantly improve the quality of any soil. The texture and nutrient levels of silty and clay soils, are drastically impacted due to compost. Compost also improves the moisture retention of soil so that it can absorb well and store the nutrients that are important for the growth of plants.

Water

For any form of life to grow well and thrive, water is essential. Plants and soil organisms are no different. For soil to be healthy, it should be about 25% water. The best type of soil is one that has small and large pore spaces to give plant roots and organisms enough room to breathe and live.

We hope this helped you! Happy gardening!

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