One of the most important things you can do for your organic garden is to learn about your soil. This can help you to make your soil environment the best it can be for your plants. I found some great information in a post by Colleen Vanderlinden of About.com. Here is some of what she had to say:
Learning as much as you can about your soil will help you decide what needs to be done to make it ideal for the plants you want to grow. If you can learn about your soil’s texture, composition, drainage, acidity, and mineral density, you will avoid, up front, the disappointing results that can occur when your soil is unsuitable for your dream garden.
Soil Test #1: The Squeeze Test
One of the most basic characteristics of soil is its composition. In general, soils are classified as clay soils, sandy soils, or loamy soils. Clay is nutrient rich, but slow draining. Sand is quick draining, but has trouble retaining nutrients and moisture. Loam is generally considered to be ideal soil because it retains moisture and nutrients but doesn’t stay soggy.
To determine your soil type, take a handful of moist (but not wet) soil from your garden, and give it a firm squeeze. Then, open your hand. One of three things will happen:
- It will hold its shape, and when you give it a light poke, it crumbles. Lucky you—this means you have luxurious loam!
- It will hold its shape, and, when poked, sits stubbornly in your hand. This means you have clay soil.
- It will fall apart as soon as you open your hand. This means you have sandy soil.
Now that you know what type of soil you have, you can work on improving it.
For more of Colleen’s great advice and the rest of her post, please visit her here. She walks you through three more tests that you can do to make your soil be the best it can be. When growing an organic garden, you want as many things in your favor as possible. You will already be getting several benefits from the things you grow organically.
What are your thoughts on improving your soil for your organic garden? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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