For growing any type of plant in your garden, it is important to make sure that garden soil is suitable and well prepared for it. Healthy soil results in healthy plants and the inturn provide a healthy environment for us. How can you make your gardening soil better? let’s take a look
Garden soil is made up of different organic and non-organic materials that strengthen the roots and nourishes the plants. Adding some natural and kitchen waste like peels of vegetables, food waste and fruits to garden soil can add more nutrients to it.
What is soil made of
Soil is the composition of living and non-living matter. Moreover, it consists of decaying plant and animal remains. Air and water are essential ingredients of healthy soil. Along with this presence of earthworms helps in fertilize the soil. But if there is an excess of earthworms in the soil it also can cause problems for plants.
The nutrient level and drainage of soil depend upon the type of soil. Some important soil types are as follows:
The soil of this type is smooth when dry and becomes sticky when it is wet. it has a high nutrient level but a large amount of clay is not suitable for growing plants. Not enough air and water can pass through it.
Sandy soil has a small number of nutrients but it provides generous drainage. It is gritty and rough. Sand is the largest particle in soil.
This type of sand has interesting features. It is like sand and powder when it is dry and not sticky when it is wet. This type of sand falls between sand and clay.
Loam is an ideal soil for many plants. It is rich in organic matter that helps in boosting organic activity and retain moister allowing the plants to grow in a healthy way. It is the combination of all three types of soil including sand, silt, and clay.
Consider the soil
Understanding the structure and type of soil is more important in order to grow healthier plants. Different types of plants require different types of conditions. Knowledge about plants and different soil conditions can help in maintaining a beautiful garden.
A soil that contains nutrients and a stable pH level will help in growing plants properly. The addition of fertilizers and fancy pesticides to the soil for increasing its fertility can solve the problem at present but create more problems in the future.
The drainage ability and consistency of soil can also affect the fertility of the soil. Some important factors are as follows that help us in understanding and analyzing the condition of the soil
The pH level of soil can be determined through various devices. It helps to analyze the soil to make it environment-friendly and suitable for plants to grow. pH level slightly above and below 7 is suitable for most plants.
Sandy soil is good in terms of drainage but it has a low nutrient level. Because of its quick drainage, water-soluble nutrients can be easily washed away. The application of mulches of well-rotted compost and rake-in fertilizers can help in this regard.
Heavy soil contains a lot of clay which has poor drainage. The presence of clay makes it harder for digging. It became stickier when wet. The addition of organic matter will help in improving soil structure.
Life of soil
The health of the soil is maintained by healthy soil organisms. These organisms help in making the soil more fertile and help strengthen the roots of plants. The presence of these critters provides nutrients to plants and makes the soil loose and fluffy.
Soil organisms include earthworm bacteria, fungi, mites, and many others. If there is a need then some of these organisms can be added to the soil by providing them suitable environment.
Organic matter and compost fertilize the soil and maintain moisture. They store nutrients for plants. It is also food for beneficial microorganisms. If we add compost to soil it can improve any type of soil.
An annual application of organic material on the top of the soil produces better results in this regard. We can purchase Organic compost and it can also be prepared by anyone at home.
Fertilizers are much important for the soil to make it properly ready for plants. Different amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are present in fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are always a better option for garden soil because it works slowly and keeps the soil fertilized for a long time. More synthetic fertilizers are bad for the environment and plants too. They can be dangerous to microorganisms which are beneficial for soil health.
Water is important for all living forms but in a suitable amount neither too much nor too less. Healthy soil contains 25% of water.
Water helps the plants according to the structure of the soil. In sandy soil water drain out easily so it cannot be used by plants. In clay, soil water cannot be absorbed in the soil so it can suffocate the roots of plants and microorganisms as well.
Soil with small and large pores is the best for your plants. Organic compost also stores water so plants can use it when they need it.
Like other living things plants also need air for respiration and growth. It is important for both above and under the ground for plants. Air present in soil keeps the atmospheric pressure and makes it usable for plants.
Oxygen in soil is also important for the organisms in soil that are beneficial for plants. Air is in varying amounts in different types of soil. There is an excessive amount of air in sandy soil so it can get absorbed easily and decompose organic matter so it cannot be used by plants. Heavy and dense clay has small pores and little air.
Difference between potting soil and garden soil:
Soil has different types. It provides the environment for the nourishment of plants. The right soil for the right plant helps the plants in growing fast. All types of soil are not suitable for all kinds of plants. Garden soil is not suitable for potted plants and potting soil is not suitable for gardens.
Potting soil is also called potting mix which contains a mixture we add in it with soil for better growth of plants. It can be used in window boxes, flower pots, and other plant containers.
Potting soil is more expensive than garden soil. It became difficult for buyers to buy soil for plants because of the different brands in the market. Moreover, by choosing the right soil and making simple decisions it is easy to buy the potting soil. It should be chosen according to need not by price.
Potting soil consists of different chemicals and pesticides that are fruitful for the short term but can be dangerous for the long term in terms of harming organisms in the soil.
In potting soil, there is not enough space for roots to stretch well and they become suffocated due to the small areas. Pots could also be selected according to the need of the plants.
Gardening soil may contain dirt but it is full of nutrients and organic material that is important for plants. It holds water for a long time so plants can use it when needed.
Garden soil contains living organisms that help the soil in remaining loose and fluffy. It helps the plants in growing and provides the roots with a healthy environment. Also, they provide loose soil for better oxygen in the soil.
Garden soil saves money as it contains a lot of micronutrients and organic matter. Less amount of fertilizer is needed in garden soil. It is dangerous for plants in the garden if synthetic fertilizers are used.
How to prepare the soil for the garden?
There are different types of soil in gardens. But making soil according to the need of plants takes time. It cannot be done overnight. All we need is a simple process to follow firstly to plan, then test, and in the end change according to the need of the existing soil.
What makes soil great and plants friendly?
The soil must contain some essential ingredients that are very important including air, water, microorganisms, weathered rock, and organic matter. If all these ingredients are present in the soil, then the soil is in a great position for growing plants.
What are the right proportions?
Air is present in up to 25% of the volume of soil. It is present in small pores in the soil. The presence of air keeps the soil organism alive and it also provides nitrogen to plants.
Water is an essential item of soil that provides life to plants. It is also important for the existence of air in the soil. if the soil is waterlogged then it becomes useless for growing plants because there would be no life of organisms in the soil that have a vital role in plant growth.
Organic matter and organisms also have a vital role to make the soil plants friendly. Also, these organisms help plants in growing and make underground food webs that break the material into the form which is absorbed by roots.
In order to prepare the soil for gardening plants firstly check the soil at the local office by paying a small fee, then take the recommended measures remove all the sod and clean the area properly, add fertilizers and organic matter and wait for the right time.
Gardening soil can be prepared by making some effort and planning. Testing of soil and the addition of fertilizers in a certain amount is important. Make sure the air and organic matter in the soil makes it final for the gardening soil being prepared along with water availability.