Whether you’re an avid gardener or you simply want to put the space outside your house to good use this summer, you’re going to have to be sure of one thing above all else: the health of your soil beds. The ground is where the bulk of our crops are grown, and the Earth provides for us all, so it’s imperative you pay attention to the quality of your soil, and its ongoing needs for the next few months.
People with raised planters and window boxes alike are going to need advice like this on hand, and even those who rely on greenhouses are never going to escape the whims and whiles of the soil underneath us! So with that in mind, here’s just a couple of things to remember about keeping your soil beds healthy. It doesn’t have to be as hard as you’ve been led to believe!
Determine the State of Your Soil
First thing to do, before you put down any kind of fertilizer or any seeds you aim to cultivate, is to determine the state of the soil you’re working with. Soil needs to have plenty of nutrients in it, to make sure the roots of your plants have something to suck up when you stick them in the ground, and any deficiencies are going to be clear in the results you see above ground. Don’t let any of your money, or your elbow grease, go to waste! My Top 7 quick Soil Fixes Cheat Sheet can help you with amending your soil and getting it balanced before you plant, and it’ll be available to you at the end of this article.
Your soil needs to be rich in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. If you already have plants on the go, check them for signs of deficiency of any one of these nutrients – you can check through this handy list if you’re not sure what colors are wrong or what size stems are less than healthy. There’s plenty of products out there, that can be found all over your local garden center, that can put these problems quickly to bed in your own soil beds!
Use Mulch If Needed
Mulch is a superhero in the gardening world, and you’re going to have a lot to thank it for by the time the fall and its harvest period rolls around. At its core, mulch does its magic by preventing weed seeds from taking root and growing, disrupting the roots and offshoots of the plants you want to see flowering. Mulch also does a good job of keeping water in the soil, and stopping it from drying out in the warmest and driest months.
One caveat to using mulch, though–it can be home to critters that want to eat your tender seedlings. If you know that you have an abundant population of earwigs and sowbugs on your property, and you are planting seeds or seedlings, you may not want to use mulch right away. It would be fine for well-established plants, however.
There’s different types of mulch as well, separated into organic and inorganic categories. Depending on the landscape of your garden, or the convenience of the material, you’re going to rely on one more than the other. Don’t worry too much though, there’s plenty of Mulch Delivery options out there, if you don’t have any tree bark shreddings or stones to hand.
Know the ground you’re seeding! Your soil beds need some tender, loving care, so make sure you know how to apply it.
Get my Top & Quick Soil Fixes Cheat Sheet!
Once you know which nutrients your soil bed is deficient in, what do you do? Grab this cheat sheet and get your soil on its way to health, and ready to feed your garden plants!