Soil is made from minerals, water, air and organic matter. The key to great garden soil is increasing the organic matter and the biological activity in the soil.
In a manner of speaking, soil is soil. But what makes great garden soil? Most soils contain 5% or less organic matter. The best garden soils are rich in organic matter and biological activity.
Organic matter makes garden soils workable, a good texture, and full of plant nutrients. Organic matter is where most of the biological activity takes place.
Biological activity within soil provides ways for organic matter to replaced or increased. As well, it is activity at the microscopic level which allows nutrients to be taken up by plant roots.
The best ways to add organic matter to soil are through mulch and compost. Add both generously throughout the year. Adding a layer of leaves or straw at the end of the growing season can give your garden soil a boost of organic matter in the spring.
Ways to increase biological activity in garden soil:
If your soil is very compacted, rocky, clayey, sandy or low in organic matter, you may want to consider raised beds for your garden. Using a raised bed allows you to create great garden soil right from the start.
Any soil mix can be used in a raised bed garden. The best soil recipe will contain lots of organic matter and a good environment for soil microorganisms.
The square foot method for garden soil for raised beds is 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat. Another garden soil recipe is 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat, coir, or bark mulch, 1/3 compost.
To any of the above recipes or any garden soil mix the following can be added:
Even the best garden soils will become depleted with time. Be sure to add compost, mulch and organic fertilizers throughout the growing season.
With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...