What you’ll learn here:
- Tips to create the best soil for your garden; hint, it starts with understanding the soil you’re working with.
- What things to look for first in your garden space. One essential step: getting your yard flagged for any underground utilities.
- Hands-on test for moisture level.
- How best to till and the double-digging technique.
- Don’t forget the essential item: Soil additive. The best soil additive for gardening is one that offers high-quality nutrition, as well as support for water absorption and controlling pests and disease.
A thriving garden is like a cake: it requires a bit of knowledge, time, work, and a carefully-created recipe – and if all goes well, the result can be something beautiful! Growing happy, healthy plants are both a science and an art.
But if you’ve never been able to get a garden off the ground (literally or figuratively), then it might be time to take a closer look at your starting point: the soil. Good soil is the basis for a great garden, and without it, you’re likely to be wasting your hard work, time, and money. Unfortunately, few of us live in areas where the native soil – that is, the soil that’s already in your yard – is “good” enough to support a variety of plants. Usually, native soil doesn’t have quite the right balance of texture, moisture retention, or nutrients to help plants reach their full potential.
If that’s the case, does a low-quality native soil mean that you’re doomed to a dismal garden forever? Not quite. Thankfully, with a little effort and the right ingredients, you can whip up a superb soil next to no time.
Here’s our step-by-step garden soil guide that will make it easy to start your gardening journey on the right note.
How to Make Garden Soil
Without good soil, there are a few fates awaiting your plants. The best-case scenario is that their growth is stunted and they don’t produce much in the way of flowers, vegetables, or fruits. Worst-case scenario, they die off in less time than it took you to plant them. But if you create a nutrient-rich soil before planting, you can save yourself a considerable amount of time, money, effort, and disappointment.
Before you get started, you may want to consider getting your yard flagged for any underground utilities. Since you’ll be digging into the ground, you want to be sure that you aren’t at risk of damaging an important underground pipeline. That can be an expensive and time-consuming mistake to make, so get a professional to confirm that you aren’t digging up trouble.
Once that’s taken care of, you’re ready to dig into the task at hand. Here’s a simple garden soil guide you can use for your next adventure in planting.
1. Test the soil to gather some basic information.
A soil test kit gives you a quick and easy method for gathering some background information on your soil, including the soil’s pH, make-up, and how much organic material it already has. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a kit from your local county extension office. If not, there are plenty of options at your local garden center, hardware store, and even online.
Following the kit’s instructions, take a sample of soil and complete the testing process.
2. Do a little detective work to figure out what you’re working with.
Once you have the soil test results in hand, you might need to do a bit of digging to learn more about what that information actually means. Particularly if you’re new to gardening, reading up on the basics of pH and other soil characteristics can be extremely helpful. The details provided by the test results will tell you exactly what it’s lacking, so you’ll be prepared to supplement it as needed.
3. Do a hands-on test for moisture level.
Testing the soil’s moisture doesn’t require any fancy gadgets (though you can certainly use a moisture meter if you have one). Simply grab a handful of the soil, then clench your hand into a fist. If it crumbles between your fingers, you have the green light to start working. But if it sticks together and forms a ball, the soil is too wet.
4. Give the soil a good tidying-up.
Whether you’ve used this soil for gardening before or it’s your first time, there’s likely going to be debris that needs to be cleared out. Using a hand trowel or small rake (or a shovel if it’s a large area), clean up any weeds or old plant debris. Make sure you get rid of all of the debris because it can be a breeding ground for pests and disease.
5. Try your hand at tilling.
Now, it’s tilling time. Using a roto-tiller, start from one end of the garden and work your way towards the other. Aim to turn the soil over about 12 inches deep, removing any additional debris you come across.
Note: You can rent a roto-tiller (electronic or gas), or you can always do the job by hand. It will definitely require more work, so be prepared to put some muscle into it!
6. Supplement the soil with an excellent additive.
Finally, we’ve reached the part of the process in which you’ll be giving the soil base the boost it needs, using something called a soil additive. The best soil additive for gardening is one that offers high-quality nutrition, as well as support for water absorption and controlling pests and disease. Choose wisely, because this decision is one that can make or break your garden.
Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner is a one-of-a-kind product that’s quickly become the go-to gardening secret, offering everything you need to enrich your garden soil. It is packed with all the minerals that plants crave, but it also features innovative, all-natural silica sources (and neutralized) from Arizona copper mines. Unlike other additives, many of which contain chemicals, Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner is an organic option that you don’t have to worry about contaminating your harvest.
7. Tackle the final tilling.
Once you’ve picked your soil additive, you’ll need to mix it into the soil thoroughly. Again, you’ll need to till, this time with the additive included. Finish the job by raking everything over and watering it.
If you don’t have a roto-till, you can use a method known as “double digging”:
- After spreading some of the additives over the soil’s surface, dig a hole about 10 to 15 inches.
- Set that pile of loose soil to the side, then loosen up the soil in the hole more with a garden fork (go down about 10 inches).
- Sprinkle in another helping of additive, making sure to keep the specific instructions for using the additive in mind – for example; Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner recommends a 1:9 ratio of additive to soil.
- Dig another hole right next to the first one, filling your first hole with the soil from the second one.
- Again, loosen the soil (in the second hold) and sprinkle in the additive.
- Continue this process until you’ve completed it across the entire garden area.
- Rake and water generously.
The Key to Good Soil: Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner
Make sure you give your plants the potential to be their best by creating high-quality soil, using a premium soil additive like Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner. Formulated with science (and gardeners) in mind, it’s the perfect start to a great garden.
Order Harvest Gold Organics® Premium Soil Conditioner online today and enjoy your garden to the fullest!