For anyone thinking of starting organic gardening adventure, correct and proper soil preparation is the foundation on which the organic garden is built. You cannot afford to get it wrong.
Soil pH testing. Step one to prepare your organic garden’s soil is basically to test it to see what you have to work with. Use tests to decide what you need to add before you proceed with amending your soil organically. You can pick up a soil testing kit at your local garden centre. The test will look at the pH of the soil which is a measure of acidity and alkalinity contained in it. Depending on the results of the test you may need to consider adding lime or sulfur to get the balance just right. A good soil testing kit will help you with this and additional materials are available at garden centers.
In addition to the pH balance the soil test should look at other chemical elements present and in what amounts. The less the better if you are intending to use the garden organically. You are favoring natural elements over chemical fertilizers and the like. Even if the site you intend to use is not blessed with the most perfect soil conditions it can be carefully tended and developed in to the right stuff for a great organic garden.
Using fertile soil. When gardeners speak of a soil, they are referring to earth that looks, feels and smells pleasant. That means fertile soil, with good structure depending on the extent to which the inorganic soil particles; sand, silt, clay, and humus are bound together. No matter what kind of miserable soil you begin with, it can be transformed into the stuff great gardens are made of.
You can start to do this by using only natural compost on your organic garden. You can even make this yourself although until you are in a position to do so it is an expense you will have to bear and buy it from the garden centre. However as soon as possible it is suggested you do start to make your own natural compost by using things from your household such as food scraps, vegetable waste and the like.
As you apply the natural compost to your organic garden the soil will benefit from the natural nutrients in the compost and you will gradually develop better soil for better growing conditions.
Another part of proper soil preparation is mixing in some topsoil along with all the good, natural stuff you introduce to the existing earth. A staple here is, as unpleasant as it might sound, horse or cow manure. Well it is naturally occurring and will help with soil development. Again, it is available from garden centers though if you have access to a local farmer you may be able to do a deal with them. Alternatively, consider the use of grass cuttings and leaves. Some of the most commonly added and least expensive organic amendments for your organic garden soil are:
– peat moss
– leaf mold
The mixture of existing earth, good top soil and the natural nutrients you introduce will encourage good organically prepared soil which is rich in organic nutrients, moisture holding and with good drainage. A fine recipe for good growing.
Be sure to remove any weeds, old roots and other things which might be there in the soil. Then once your soil is prepared leave it to settle down for a few days before you begin to plant anything in your new organic garden.