Three Steps to Healthy Spring Soil – Step 3: Preparing Your Soil
The last couple of weeks we have been discussing the 3 Steps to Healthy Spring Soil. Step 1 was to pick the perfect spot. Step 2 was to assess your ingredients. Step 3 is all about preparing your perfect soil. We will cover the specific things you will need to do to prepare to plant your spring and summer plants.
If you are setting up your soil for the first time we recommend that you flood the area that you want to use to plant your garden. This helps leach out all the unwanted salts built up in that area.
Remove any weeds, grass and unwanted vegetation. If you have good soil you should be able to just rake out the weeds, grass and unwanted vegetation easily.
Allow the soil to dry to the workable state. Be sure to give it the crumble test. It should not be slimy and shouldn’t make squishy sounds. Never work the soil when it is wet, allow it to completely dry before you start working the soil.
Next you will want to work the soil 12 to 24 inches down to loosen it and add a little bit of air. A tilling fork works or a broad fork works well. You will only want to till the soil if it is a new space for you. We are hoping to get everyone away from the tilling method. If you rotate your crops in the correct way you won’t have to till it. The roots as they decay from the previous crops actually create the air pockets so you don’t have to work the soil. Anytime you work the soil you are really killing off a lot of the life that is in it.
Add in compost and fertilizer. Ideally you want a compost that has good organic sources with things that bring life not just nutrients to the soil. Some fertilizers have more synthetic nutrients that might kill of some of the beneficial bacteria. This is why we suggest using compost. To create your compost you can use leaves, grass clippings, sawdust, and vegetable scraps. It should look black with a sweet smell and you can’t tell what you were composting when it is ready to use.
Now you are ready to get growing for the Spring and Summer! Be sure to stay connect with us and watch videos at YouTube.com/Agriscaping