Before you put away your gardening tools for the season, I recommend that everyone spend a little time “working” their garden soil. Sharing these garden soil tips will help you have less work in the Spring. Working your dirt, or adding nutrients to it to help plants grow, can really do a lot to help the health of your garden, and fall is the perfect time to do it. Here’s how to build the best soil for your gardens.
First, it’s important to know what healthy garden soil looks like. Healthy soil is “crumbly” and looks like cookie crumbs that have been scattered. Next, good soil is rich in organic plant or animal matter (basically composting or mulch). And finally, your soil has the correct PH based on the needs of your plants. You can test your PH levels using this tutorial. Okay, now that we know what good soil is, it’s time to learn how to build our own!
To prepare your garden soil for fall, I recommend mixing in a hearty bit of mulch or compost in the fall months. It’s pretty much impossible to add too much compost, so I like to basically empty my bins one last time before the winter hits. Mix all of your compost into the soil together and then do so again in the Spring, right before planting. You’ll be amazed at how crucial compost is to a healthy garden.
However, while adding in the mulch and compost, it’s important that you take care while mixing it. Over-mixing could leave soil susceptible to the elements.
After you have used the link above to test the PH of your soil, you may realize that it needs some help if you want to keep your plants growing well. If your soil is too acidic, check out this article from The Spruce that details easy ways to make the fix.
Compacted soil is the bane of many a gardener’s existence, and if you have compact soil in the fall, it could be really tricky to work come Spring. To prevent compacted soil, remind your family members to stay off the soil come Fall and Winter. It might be hard to remember if there’s nothing growing what could be the harm, but you will be so glad that you did.