Preparing Soil For The Garden
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In order to support healthy plants the garden soil needs to be of the right texture and full of nutrients. It has to be a good mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic materials. If you don’t have the loose, dark soil of the fabulous gardens that one sees in magazines then you can create one for yourself. But, before preparing soil for the garden, do test your soil to know about its ph balance and the nutrients that are lacking in it.

Improving The Soil Texture

To make your soil drier and looser you can amend it with sand. Whereas to make it moister and firmer add clay to it.

You can also improve the soil condition by giving it doses of organic material such as grass clippings, straws, brown leaves and livestock manure. Organic material encourages plant growth by improving and nourishing the soil. It is better to add already composted material to the soil. Further, in spring\fall you must till these organic materials into the soil.

In addition, you can also add fertilizers to the soil to overcome the nutrient deficiency found in the soil tests. If you are not using composted organic material, then add a fertilizer with more nitrogen since the non-composted material will take nitrogen from the soil as they break down.

Solarizing

If you are beginning a new garden in an area that has been previously gardened, then Solarizing is an important step in preparing soil for the garden.

In early spring place a sheet of black gardening plastic over the entire garden area and hold the corners down with rocks or piles of soil. Keep the plastic there for about 8 weeks. The sun will heat the black plastic, the heat will be transferred to the soil under the plastic, raising the soil’s temperature and destroying any soil-borne disease. After a few weeks, remove the plastic and plant the soil.

Aeration

Aeration helps in preparing soil for the garden by allowing enough air and water to reach the soil and nourish the plants roots. You can use a manual or a mechanical aerator to aerate the soil. Water the garden thoroughly a day before beginning aeration. It should be done twice a year, spring and fall being the best times to aerate soil.