How to Improve Soil in the Garden
A Guide for Garden Soil Improvement
The Bad News:
If you're starting a new garden, it is very likely that you need to improve the soil, for the garden to perform at its best.
And if you have an established garden, you need to improve the soil, to replenish nutrients for promoting healthy plants. (Soil that is poorly supplied with nutrients will grow produce that is poor in nutrients.) This guide will help you learn how to improve soil in the garden, for better results.
Garden soils that are not "garden friendly" (whether from soil pH, consistency, or lack of nutrients) can damage your plants. Poor soils:
- Affect root growth, and the overall health of the plants.
- Invite plant diseases.
- Cause sickly plants that invite insect infestations that can spread throughout the garden.
- Produce a much lower garden yield.
- Grow produce that is deficient compared to the expected nutritional content.
The Good News:
There are a wide variety of things that you can add to improve soil in the garden. Some soil improvements are relatively inexpensive or even free.
Note: See the chart comparing benefits of the different methods to improve soil in the garden.
Testing your Garden Soil
Before you take action to improve soil in your garden, you need to know what needs to be changed. (You could add the wrong things and make it worse!) Testing your soil tells you exactly what is needed.
- How to test your soil (pH, Nitrogen, etc.)
Garden Soil pH
Plants have a certain pH range that they prefer (depending upon the type of plant). Soils that have a pH outside that range cause the plants distress. Learn how to improve soil pH.
- pH for Vegetables (Chart)
- Improve Alkaline Soil
- Improve Acidic Soil (with Lime)
Adding compost to your garden is a great method of soil improvement. Improve soil in the garden with compost, and you'll gain these benefits: it neutralizes pH, breaks up the soil, retains moisture, adds nutrients, and acts as a fertilizer.
- Compost Basics
- Vermicomposting Basics
- Step by Step Vermicomposting Guide
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.