Do you want to know how you can improve your garden’s soil quality? At Everlast Services we have all the answers you’ve been looking for.
The importance of soil quality should never be underestimated; without healthy soil it’s impossible to have a healthy garden. If, no matter how much pruning, weeding, watering and general garden maintenance you do your garden, just seems unable to thrive, it’s very probable that poor soil quality is the culprit.
When it comes to soil, you should think of it as a living organism as much as you do the plants that it feeds. After all, like plants, soil requires nutrients, moisture and warmth.
As well as helping your garden to grow to be beautiful and luscious, if you have a veggie patch or herb garden having nutrient-rich soil will help to improve the flavour of your home-grown food. Basically, the benefits of having healthy garden soil are endless, which is why these tips and tricks can help to exponentially improve your garden.
Test the Soil
Just like a doctor performing tests before prescribing any medicine, you should test your soil so that you can diagnose the problems it’s having correctly and fix it accordingly. This can be done with at-home soil pH testing kits which can be bought at most hardware and gardening stores.
These pH tests require you to take samples of soil from different areas of your garden, dry them out and fill the test kit test tubes with pH indicators. If the soil is over 7.0, it means that it has turned alkaline and does not contain crucial macronutrients like magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen.
Condition the Soil
Once you have determined what your soil is lacking, you can add conditioners that will increase the fertility and productivity of the soil. Three of the most common soil conditioners are:
- Compost – Decomposed and recycled organic material that is rich in nutrients and acts as a fertiliser and a natural pesticide
- Mulch – A layer of material applied on top of soil to conserve moisture, improve soil health and prevent weed growth
- Leaf Mold – Provides the same benefits as mulch but is made entirely out of broken down, composted leaf material
The great thing about these conditioners is that they are easy to buy or create and are generally inexpensive – especially if you’re using your own compost or leaf mold. They’re also an environmentally conscious way of improving soil health as you are not introducing chemicals into your garden.
If you want to have a constant supply of compost to help enrich your garden soil, you should consider composting. This is an environmentally friendly process which not only benefits your garden, but also reduces your carbon footprint.
There are two kinds of composting: cold composting and fast-cooking hot composting. The former simply requires that you place all your organic waste into a bin or a pile in the corner of your garden and, over the course of a year, the material will break down. Hot composting, on the other hand, is more effort but provides you with compost much quicker. Special hot composting kits can help to get you started if you’re a beginner composter.
Aerate the Soil
It’s imperative that you aerate soil every year or two to de-compact it and allow oxygen, water and nutrients to get to the plants’ roots. This will also help to improve root density and strength.
You can aerate soil using tools specifically designed for the purpose of aerating. These tools work best on soil that is slightly moist and the aerated areas should be raked over afterwards with a mixture of compost and soil.
Weed Your Garden
One of the most basic ways you can help to improve your soil’s health is by keeping your garden weed-free. Weeds suck all the water and nutrients from the soil. This can harm surrounding plants by depriving them of what they need to thrive. However, we recommend that you do not use harmful pesticides. Pesticides can disrupt the ecosystem and be dangerous to any domestic animals you might have.
As well as manually pulling out weeds, mulch can help to prevent weeds from growing by depriving them of the light they need to grow.
If you need help getting your soil to be as rich and nutrient-filled as possible, give Everlast Services a call. We’re more than happy to help. With over 20 years experience, we can provide your soil with the nutrients it needs. Your garden will thrive and grow to be luscious and beautiful.