Garden soil preparation takes a good deal of your time and effort. Even though most of you, generally know how to make soil fertile naturally, it takes a toil when you try to apply manure or compost to your garden bed. Mixing all the different types of soil with dead organic matters and executing all the necessary plans – though sounds challenging, but if implemented properly and regularly, can give a nice harvest which you will be proud of. So, let us know some of the ways by which you can make your garden bed more fertile and productive.
Steps to Make My Garden Soil Better
Using the best soil is the key for a great harvest. When you use the soil with a proper mix of the right ingredients like compost, manure and decayed leaves, your plants grow healthier and provide a better produce. There are some of the steps you can take to know how to make soil fertile naturally and they are listed below.
1. You should add manures
Adding manures not only improves the soil nutrients, it also contributes in the soil integration. But you should maintain caution while applying the manures. If applied in excessive amount, then some nutrients like phosphorus is available abundantly which is not good for all plants. Normally, fast growing crops should be given more manures while for slow growing crops like spinach or lettuce, you should apply manures in an interval of three months. It is better to use horse or animal manures than using human manure as it can be contagious in spreading diseases. Composted cow manures are also beneficial in improving the soil quality.
2. Use composting
Compost is very useful for the soil. You can use homemade compost of organic wastes and can apply one-quarter per inch in a season. You can use classic composing where you place alternate layers of nitrogen-rich greens over a layer of dry leaves. You can also do sheet composting where you spread these two layers, one over the other, directly in the garden bed. The nitrogen-rich greens should be in direct contact with soil for it to break down. Another method called vermicomposting is very popular, where you spread earthworms in the soil bed. They loosen the soil and convert nutrients for consumption by the plants ad their roots. They also help in soil enrichment by releasing beneficial microbes.
3. Grow cover crops
Variety of different crop covers can be useful resource for your garden soil preparation. With the passing of each season, there will be a deposit of nutrients from the crop covers. Soil microbes called legumes help in converting nitrogen into forms consumed by the plants. You can use grasses which improves soil structure. To grow an effective cover crop, you use two garden spaces, one for food crops and another for cover crops and then alternate the next year.
4. Use deep rooted plants to absorb nutrients better
Using rock powders and slow releasing resources of minerals can be helpful in retaining the fertility of the soil and you don’t have to purchase minerals inputs every time. You can grow more plants whose roots go deep under the soil. They help to mine minerals and nutrients better in the long run. But you should make sure to remove the weeds and other pests from around as they can be harmful for your crops.
5. Cover the soil with mulch
You can use mulch to retain the soil fertility I the garden soil preparation. Crops take away the nitrogen content on the soil and therefore, it is important to lay down carbon-rich materials as mulches. It helps in retaining the soil moisture and so it is advised to use a thick layer of mulch along with manures and compost.
6. Use low-tech tillage
You can use a power tillage to disrupt to soil structure of your garden bed which breaks down the soil further, loosening it. Otherwise, you can use hand tools such as fork and scythe which will help in loosening the soil without altering the different layers of the soil. Laying seeds of potatoes and tubers with a thick layer of mulch can also loosen the garden soil. Alternatively, if you have chickens, they can till the cover crops or you can use sheet composting.
7. Use trench to improve soil quality
Take a spade and dig a trench for better water connectivity and soil fertility. Collect dead components like dry leaves, fresh manures and green grass which helps break the soil molecules. Take out the rocks and hard materials which stops the growth of the roots. This will help in creating soil humus. If your garden soil contains excess amount of clay, then you can use gypsum to loosen it.
Starting a vegetable garden is not that difficult. Grow your garden naturally by using compost and manures, and it will prove healthy and beneficial in the long run. Now that you know about the step, implementing them is the biggest the biggest challenge. I would suggest to start small. Plan and start with that thing which you can do with little effort. Slowly, you can plan new things and execute them. But you must take care of things which are absolutely necessary for your plant growth. Remember that the more fertile the soil will be, your crops are going to be that much productive and qualitative.