The 1 Thing In Your Garden You're Not Paying Enough Attention To

Soil works harder in an intensively planted garden, so it needs more attention.

May 4, 2016
soil in a handPhotograph by B Calkins/Shutterstock

Your soil works the hardest in your garden, so why wouldn't you dedicate more time making sure it has everything it needs to help your plot thrive? Whether you're growing spring flowers like zinnias or edibles like cherry tomatoes, raspberries, chives, and tomatillos, take a few extra moments to make sure that your soil is in tip top shape, starting with the 10 Easy Soil Tests and a little extra focus on these areas of concern. 

Tilling

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Remove sod, weeds, rocks, and roots. Till in 6 inches of material from your compost pile or well-rotted mature for fertility and good soil structure. Get a soil test and amend the pH level, aiming for a neutral pH, if recommended.

Related: What To Do If Your Soil Is Too Alkaline

Spring To-Do's

Wait to work the soil until it is no longer soggy, then add amendments if recommended by a soil test. Use a digging fork or broadfork to gently aerate the top few inches of soil.

Throughout The Growing Season

The Secret To Perfect Soil is that whenever a bed becomes empty, spread a half inch or so of compost over the soil and rake it lightly into the top 2 inches. Then aerate with a garden fork.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Organic Fertilizer

Fall To-Do's

Spread a 2 inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure on any beds being retired for the winter, there is no need to dig it in.

Watch Your Step

Refrain from walking on the soil and make beds narrow enough that you can reach into them from the paths.

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