It’s all about the soil…

Published: May 28, 2019

When you start a garden, it is difficult not to just jump in, buy or grow plants and put them in the ground. That is what we I want to rush and do every year!

I have a few tips for you on soil but the most pertinent one is that it is imho, the most important aspect of a healthy garden.

  • I bought my soil from Big Yellow Bag but you can get it at any hardware store or landscaping supplier
  • I mix bone meal and dehydrated cow manure into the soil every year after the first year, before planting anything.
    • You do need to be careful not to put too much bone meal into your soil though – Bone Meal Basics
    • Also the cow manure I used was dehydrated so no smell until it gets wet! :-). I add a good deal of cow manure and I have read up to a 50/50 mix is ok with your current soil if it isn’t fertile. You really just want good soil with lots of organic matter in it, and the cow manure helps.
    • Organic matter / compost can be leaves, hay, straw, wood chips, or bark that is added on top of your soil every year (approx. 2 or more inches every year. You can even turn your plants from the previous year into the soil, however if there are any seeds those will germinate and you may have more plants than you bargained on having!
  • Give the soil a few days / weeks to settle before you plant anything. That way you can measure the fertility and pH with a kit if you want to, and then adjust with additional nutrients accordingly.
    • I have a soil testing kit that test pH  (acidic pH is below 7.0 and alkaline pH above 7.0.
    • My soil testing kit also measures fertility (typically nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium).

Here is what my soil looked like this year and this is exactly as it came from Big Yellow Bag, I didn’t add anything this year. I will add bone meal and cow manure next year.

I have found many useful resources online, these are just a few I like:

Do you have any tips about preparing your soil? Please comment with questions and suggestions!

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