The urge to eat fresh vegetables has led many people to plant their vegetables at home. You’re probably reading this because you also love the idea and want to get tips for this task.
The garden soil needs to be appropriate for planting vegetables. It must be prepared well for the elements that make it up to be able to accommodate plants.
Preparing your soil for planting vegetables can be done easily if you follow this guide. The goal is to do it correctly.
Vegetables of the little-tilled land will take three times longer to grow than the ones of well-prepared soil. So, it’s worth investing a little more of your time in preparing the land properly to get healthy and good quality vegetables.
Steps to Prepare the Garden Soil for Planting Your Vegetables
Identify the soil type
Although identifying the soil type is something that isn’t usually considered when preparing the ground for the garden, this task is as important as every other process involved in preparing the soil. Knowing the characteristics of your planting soil allows you to know what exactly it needs to be in balance. The 3 major soil types are:
Sandy soil: it allows quick evacuation of water, making it not the most ideal for crops that need moisture. Its main advantage is that it allows high root oxygenation thanks to this drainage capacity.
Clay soil: it has a high water retention capacity but without the ability to drain it. This directly affects the oxygenation and health of the roots.
Loamy soil: it has the right proportion of organic matter, sand, and clay. It is the most appropriate and preferred soil type for growing vegetables.
Only with touch can we get an idea of what type of soil we have. Another good test to identify it is to moisten it to see how it responds.
To obtain the perfect soil for planting vegetables, coconut fiber substrate can be used. The coconut fiber allows the substrate to aerate and retain water. The ideal soil for a garden should have a balance between sandy and clay soil.
Weeding is a crucial step in creating a garden.
At the end of the season, herbs spontaneously invade the garden. They should be removed to make room for future planting. For this, there are two main techniques that can be employed before the arrival of winter.
The first is to form clods with the help of a fork. You’ll turn them around so as not to break them. This way, the roots will be up and the stems and leaves will be down. When deprived of light, the herbs will wilt and die naturally and without using any type of chemical.
The second technique is to cover them with a tarp or an anti-grass mesh. This black plastic material allows water to pass through but not light. After a few weeks, the herbs will wilt due to the lack of light.
These two techniques are usually practiced from an ecological point of view and they serve as classic preparation of the soil.
Another more classic technique involves plucking the herbs with the help of a weeder, hoe, and asparagus gouge for plants with deeper roots. To start them manually, it is convenient to hold the plant well by the neck or the lower part of the stem. Spin it on itself and pull up to remove it.
To finish, the herbs can be covered with remnants of the mowing done with a lawnmower or by the vegetal remains that you have introduced in a branch grinder or vegetable waste. This layer of mulch must completely cover the herbs and be more than 5 centimeters thick to be effective. Otherwise, they may regrow and spoil your work.
Improve the soil to prepare the ground
The garden soil must be rich in organic matter and minerals. It is important to retain enough water and allow good drainage. Clay soil retains too much water; this can harm plants from excess moisture. Conversely, sandy soil allows water to drain too fast and crops may suffer from lack of water. The improvement or solution is to find a good balance.
In clay soil, it is necessary to add river sand while in sandy soil, a compost like horse manure is required. Crops like carrot, spinach, broccoli, and pea grow well in sandy soil provided they are regularly watered and have an adequate supply of organic matter.
In any case, and for all soil types, the contribution of organic matter is essential. It is necessary to make a contribution of 5 to 20 liters of compost per square meter, depending on whether the soil is fertile or poor in organic matter.
The addition of granulated organic fertilizers, crushed horns, or dried blood as a compliment is also recommended. They are rich in nitrogen and stay in the soil for a long time. Keep in mind that you can easily make homemade compost with the help of a composter, a technique used for organic cultivation.
Till the garden rows
Before planting the vegetables, you have to till. That is, turn and turn the soil. This operation is essential because it serves to aerate the soil and repair it to make it looser. This facilitates the development of the roots. For this, there are several methods:
Pass a walking tractor or hoe: This is much faster than using manual tools. The tractor allows you to work the land more deeply. The motor hoe also offers a correct but more superficial result. For a good result, it is advisable to carry out at least two passes; longitudinally and transversely.
Use a fork or digging fork: The fork allows you to stir the soil in-depth, but it requires more time to accomplish. However, using it makes it possible to preserve the microfauna, especially earthworms. They are very beneficial for the garden due to their oxygenating action on the soil and the contribution of organic matter.
For an optimal result, crumble the earth clods after stirring them. Hit them with the edge of a tool, the flat part of a rake, or the likes.
Use an aeration fork or double-handled fork: The double-handled hoe or pitchfork allows preparing the soil in-depth without altering the composition and original structure of the soil, leaving the microfauna almost intact. It is very easy to use and mainly used in organic gardens.
One of its biggest attractions is that you don’t have to bend your back; the technique is very simple. Press your foot on it to sink the teeth into the ground and pull back. Then lift the tool and move it back a few centimeters. Carry out the process again.
The pleasure of watching your vegetables grow should get you on your feet for this task. Who would not love those authentic flavors that the earth gives us? Follow these tips step by step and enjoy the best fruits and vegetables.
About the Author
Fouad is the curator of a fast-growing blog in the home and garden niche. He discusses a wide range of topics including the best mulch for perennials.