Now is a great time to prepare your garden soil for spring planting. No matter what type of garden soil you have, chances are good that it could use help recovering from rough winter weather. Taking steps to improve your garden soil now helps to ensure a productive growing season.
What kind of garden soil do I have?
The first step is to identify what kind of garden soil you have. Your garden soil might be sandy or clayey. Maybe it’s highly acidic or not acidic enough. There are ways to work with or improve all of these conditions, but you have to know what you’re working with first. An inexpensive soil test kit purchased at your local nursery is the best way to diagnose your garden soil. The results of the test will tell you what sorts of amendments you may need to have success with your plants.
Gardeners dealing with a heavy clay soil may want to add coarse sand, which is also found at the nursery or home improvement store, to make the earth easier to work with. People who have excessively sandy soil might consider amending with clay soil or humus to improve the mixture of their garden soil.
Add compost to your garden soil.
Spring is also a great time for adding compost to your garden soil. This nutrient rich mixture helps sandy soil retain water and makes clay soils easier to deal with. Moreover, compost is essentially plant food. It gives plants the nutrients they need to grow and flourish. Amending it into your garden soil is easy. You might place it on the topsoil around your plants or mix it in with your existing garden soil when making new plantings. Either way, your garden will grow like never before.
You can also add fertilizer at this stage of garden soil preparation. Using the results of your soil test kit, you can determine which nutrients your garden needs. Finding the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in your fertilizer ensures healthy growth.