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How to combat poor soil conditions for a better garden

Optimal soil conditions are one of the most important factors required if you wish to get the most out of your garden and the best results from your produce. However, due to various reasons such as climate and seasonality this is often quite difficult to achieve without a little extra work, and many of us may be faced with poor soil quality.

If you long for a vibrant, lush, crop filled garden then you might want to read on…

  • Soil samples – Testing the soil is the perfect way to determine its type such as sandy, clay, or loam. This will enable you to select the plants that will thrive most effectively based on your specific type of soil. It will also help you identify what nutrients may be missing and which will need to be replaced, while taking advantage of those already present.
  • Add compost – You can easily enhance your garden conditions by adding organic, peat free compost to promote soil health, enhance its structure, improve drainage and aeration. This is particularly beneficial for clay loams and can assist with moisture retention ideal for the sandy ones. In helping improve the quality of the earth, premium compost will also fuel strong growth and optimum plant health.
  • Remove weeds – Weeds steal organic matter away from the living soil, often leaving it depleted of nutrients and of poor quality. They also can compete with garden plants taking their water and nutrients and can produce shade meaning seeds are unable to germinate, or seedlings won’t be able to access adequate light and consequently die. It’s best to get these under control before you start planting.
  • Nitrogen – Nitrogen is often in short supply within soils and is imperative for garden growth and its long-term health. Adding compost to the earth is beneficial for creating nutrient rich soils and improving its overall quality. However, where nitrogen is a real problem, further organic solutions can be found and added to the earth. This will help avoid a deficiency and assist with feeding plants and soil organisms leading to the highest of soil quality.

  • Let your earth dry – Before you start your spring planting it’s important to let your soils dry out a little. This is particularly beneficial for those that are quite sticky and compact such as clays. If you start digging and walking over earth that is wet, you will compress and damage their structure. This means the ground will have very little aeration leaving little space for roots to grow and organisms to breathe often leading to depleted nutrients and poor health.

Having the most perfect soil with the ultimate balance of nutrients, water and air is pretty impossible. However, following a few simple steps like the above, will enable us to improve our soil conditions the best we can and help to get the most out of our garden.

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