When deciding to grow a vegetable garden, the first thing to consider is the soil required to build the garden. For the healthy growth of tree, shrubs, and vegetables, the land has to be in good shape. When your soil is in good form, the need for fertilizer or pesticide might not arise. When you prepare your garden for growing vegetables, you are ensuring you would have a successful planting season. A good seed planted on a soil lacking enough nutrient, moisture, and air would go to waste. Below are tips to ensure you have excellent soil for your vegetable garden.
Determine Your Soil Type
Some crop types grow better in clay soil and sandy soil – most crops grow better in loamy soil because of its richness, ability to hold moisture, aeration and the presence of living organisms like earthworms and microbes. When preparing your soil for a vegetable garden, you need a combination of earth, sand, and clay in equal proportion. Testing your soil before planting would help you determine if you need to amend the soil compost.
Map Out Your Vegetable Garden Area
After determining your soil type, create the perimeters you intend to plant on by digging the edges. The reason for mapping out your planting area is to ascertain what part of your yard you would be focusing on – in terms of soil preparation. Create perimeters by digging up the edge of the garden area after which you break the ground in-between. Clear out the mapped-out area by removing weeds, rocks, and debris.
Tilling the soil helps to break up the ground and prepare it for planting while providing room for soil amendments. Tilling with a rototiller to about 12-inches down is a great way to correct nutrient or pH imbalance. A rototiller makes your work faster compared to using your hands but avoid over tilling as this would result in smooth powdery dust that dries up during the dry weather and packs hard like concrete. You should also avoid tilling wet soil as this would severally damage your soil structure.
The best time to fertilize your soil for maximum result is right before planting. Using organic fertilizer is best compared to its inorganic counterparts, which are faster but don’t last in the ground as long as the organic fertilizer. For maximum results, use compost, humus or manure to fertilize. Mix dry fertilizer into the soil according to the direction stated on the label before watering; while liquid fertilizers are sprayed directly on the land.
Growing a lush and healthy vegetable garden is highly dependent on moisture. A good soil properly cultivated and prepared for vegetable gardening would have plenty of organic matter and hold moisture longer. Having a suitable irrigation system is an excellent idea, especially during the hot weather – ensuring your vegetables get as much water as they might need.
Preparing your soil for vegetable gardening takes time, but, the end product is always rewarding.