4 tips for better garden soil

Take care of your soil so it can take care of your plantings.

Are you doing everything you can to ensure a healthy, happy garden? You know the basics: weed, water, prune, and keep out pests, but you might be missing an important step toward successful plant growth. Over time, nutrients are stripped from the garden soil through planting and harvesting. If you start to notice smaller, discolored, or misshaped plants, you could have poor soil quality. Take these steps to always ensure lively, fertile soil.

1. Decrease garden soil disturbance

Reduced soil disturbance keeps biological activity and organic matter decompositon closer to the surface and maintains soil structure. This encourages earthworm populations and manages moisture and temperature levels, too.

2. Choose the best fertilizer for your garden soil

To keep your soil healthy after harvesting, you need to add nutrients back into it. Once you determine the nutrient levels in your soil, choose a fertilizer with the correct ratio of nutrients for your garden. Only apply the nutrients your garden truly needs.

3. Protect your garden soil

Keep your soil covered as much as possible to conserve moisture, maintain temperature, and reduce weed growth. Maintain a schedule for when you will cover your soil in order to allow crop residues to decompose and cycle nutrients back into the soil when uncovered.

4. Keep plants growing throughout the year

Living roots provide the easiest source of food for garden soil microbes. Keeping a living root in your soil all year round will ensure a healthy nutrient cycle. In addition, recently dead plant roots, crop residues, and organic matter work to feed your soil.

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