3 Simple Steps to Garden Success Part 1: Healthy Soil

The first step to gardening is having healthy soil. This allows your plants to to start off and grow their roots in a healthy and thriving environment. We are going to discuss some of the important qualities you need in order to have healthy soil.

1. The ideal soil for vegetables is about 18″ deep and is well draining. However, if you are just wanting to grow greens, you only need about 4″ of soil because their roots are fairly shallow. But other vegetables should be at least 18″ deep and be able to drain well.

2. It should hold moisture like a sponge. Water the soil down to a foot depth and then grab a handful of it. Make a ball of soil and open your hand. The soil should crumble into about pea size pieces. If you squeezed the soil in your hand you might even be able to compress some water out of it.

3. You want about 1/3 high organic matter for in ground soil. If you have your soil in your pot we recommend a non-native based soil system where you have a mixture that has a lot of compost and pearlite or vermiculite.

4. The Neutral pH should be about 6 to 7.

If you soil isn’t draining well you can dig below the 18″ about 1 foot by 1 foot. Fill it with water and let it drain through. If there is still water in it after one hour, wait a few more hours. For every hour the water is standing there is about a foot of soil below that isn’t allowing it to drain. If it goes 4 hours and still isn’t draining you might want to do a raised garden bed instead. If the water is draining after an hour you will want to add some gypsum into your soil below about 1/4 cup per square foot for an in ground garden bed. You do have to work it into the soil.

Join us next week to get more information about Step 2: Healthy Starts. To learn more and get some amazing free guides check out Agriscaping Green Thumb Thursday at https://agriscaping.kartra.com/page/greenthumbthursday