Before you achieve bountiful harvest, you must determine the quality of your soil. When you pot a plant indoors, it is usually done with good soil. That plant will thrive. If that plant remains in the same soil for more than 3 years, the soil starts to break down and no longer provides the plant with the nutrients that were in the soil when it was planted. That is because the plant used up all the nutrients that were in the soil by growing. The same goes for outdoors. We must replenish our soil. Unless you moved into a place where the previous inhabitants enriched their soil year after year, it is most likely that you will have to help your soil along. Soil analysis is important before we start our plants.
Getting To Know Your Soil
Once you know what you have, you can then plan what to do about it. So many ways to improve the balance of soil and nutrients. You can have a successful planting on your first year, but realize the importance of continual improvement will help you end up with prime soil and a much bigger abundance. You can also improve soil that already has plants or vegetation by working in the nutrients slowly. Leaves worked into soil will greatly enrich its quality along with the many other ways in this post.
Clay soil does not allow the roots to spread and inhibits a plant to set itself. The plant will die. You must add more soil to the clay and my opinion, if it is in your garden bed, dig out the clay dirt and replace with good soil. The best way to tell if you have too much clay in your soil is dig a shovelful and squeeze some of the soil in your hand. If it is mostly clay like. You have too much clay in your soil.
Soil Test Kit
Click this link
This is a relatively inexpensive way to test your soil. If you have never worked with soil before and are new to planting, as I have hoped to get as many people involved in planting their own food, than you need to get your soil tested. Soil analysis will tell you what your soil is missing and what you need to put in it for plants to be healthy.
. I still feel that way. Gold is pretty and will go up in value, but land can give so much more than Gold. It can give you a way to sustain your health and if you start growing your own, you will never go back to package food again. Land is priceless. Use it.
The Greedy Builders
I have noticed that in certain areas, the rich black soil has been removed and sold for profit by builders who are building neighborhoods and trailer parks. They scrape all the rich soil and leave people who move there, the thick clay like soil to deal with. Most of the time, you have to truck your soil in by the yard to achieve a good soil for planting. To me, that is wrong, but there is a great deal of profit to be made by selling off the soil. After all, the soil was enriched by the trees and leaves that composted there over the years and left a wonderful nutrient enriched soil that could sell for 100 or more per yard. I have had to truck in several yards of soil myself at certain places that I lived because that is what the builders did, they took that rich soil and sold it.
If you are low on funds and can’t afford to buy soil
You can take leaves and mix it in your soil a bucket at a time. Take as much as you can mix and throw in leaves, coffee grounds, boiled egg shells. If you only have leaves that is still ok. Any leaves will do, I am sure there are homes that still have leaves from the fall still around. As a matter of fact, I am looking out my window now and there are many leaves up against my fence. More than enough to mix in my soil. Hmmm. I will do that on my next day off when the ground is warm enough to work them in. So save some bags of leaves this fall for that reason. Once in the soil, they will decompose and help enrich the nutrients in your soil.
Dry the leaves so you can break them up in the soil easily. That will improve your soil a lot. The leaves will break up the clay and allow plants to send out roots and set themselves. It is very important that plants set themselves. Have you ever planted a plant in the soil and in the fall, just plucked it out of the ground and noticed that it had no root system? That is because the soil did not allow the plant to set itself and the plant could not send out roots. It survived as long as it could, but it eventually died after using what it had in itself to live. You can also buy a few bags of soil at the market if you have too much clay in your soil. Over time you can throw stuff in the soil to better the quality of it like coffee grounds and boiled egg shells can be done all year long. I have cans that I save coffee grounds and egg shells in and use them regularly. Roses love it and I love my roses, so it is a habit I started years ago to keep my roses beautiful. All soil can be made viable for planting, and all soil, good or bad needs replenishing
I bet your didn’t know that worm casings, (poop) are wonderful to add nutrients and quality to your soil. This will take some time, so start this spring by adding worms to your garden and in the next spring planting, you will have enriched soil. You can actually buy worm poop to add to your soil. Many growers of Medical Marijuana use this to enrich their plants. Worm casings are full of nutrients and vitamins that soil love. If you ever see good black soil, you will also see worms. I like to put worms in my rose bed. It makes the soil ten times richer in one season. So for now, add what you can, and get some worms to make it that much better for next year. Also watch the video on my post How to Keep Plants Hydrated You will be amazed at how you can help your soil by using a diaper. Yes, a diaper, so go watch it.
Do not use manure in the spring
If you contemplated using manure to refresh your soil. only use manure in the fall and mix it well. While manure is full of nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, also can carry deadly bacteria along with good bacteria. It needs to winter and get into the soil before spring planting. So manure in the fall only. NEVER fresh manure. Buy it from the market. Don’t use your animal poop.
Plants that like Clay
I had several Daylilies and Hibiscus that absolutely flourish in mostly clay. Not completely clay, but more clay than soil. It is beyond me why, but they loved it, so I left them there, and they were beautiful. I don’t know a lot about soil science, but I always thought that to be a bit strange. My theory is they liked it wet more than dry and when you have clay in your soil, it stays wetter long after rain or watering.
I hope you will consider planting some plants this year even if it is a very small area
You can start out small. Just try it. You will be glad you did. If you grow anything, please consider at least one tea plant. It will improve your health in leaps and bounds and I can’t say enough about the benefits of drinking tea. Remember, the free tea in Dandelions and Stinging Nettle. It is there for the picking and free too. But plant some Chamomile among your plants this year. The German kind is the one to plant. I know I talk a lot about teas, but from what Grandma told me and what I have researched, WOW, what an impact tea has.
I also hoped you noticed that I spoke nary a word of chemical additives. I don’t believe in them. You can make great soil by doing the tasks I have written about. There is no need for anything else. The only fertilizer I endorse is Miracle grow for roses and plants. Nothing for anything I eat. You don’t need it, and your soil doesn’t either. There are many ways to do this yourself.
Don’t forget. The dandelions are getting ready to pop up. I am counting on my best friend Minnie, to let me know when hers start showing up on her lawn. She does not use chemicals on her lawn so it will be safe to pick for eating the leaves and making tea from the roots. So find an area where it is never sprayed, so look now, they are coming soon. I have my tools in my trunk for that purpose. Stinging Nettle will follow soon after. The only tools you need is a newspaper for the roots and a bag for the leaves. Get as many as you can at one time, you only have one shot. Before it blooms, and get the leaves early for tenderness. A fondue fork is all I use. Make sure it’s sturdy.
I hope you enjoyed my post. I hope I have been of some help for your planting this spring. I want all of you to plant something, anything. I know you will enjoy what follows. Please join my newsletter so that you do not miss out on any informative posts as I will bring you whatever you need to have a successful bounty of plants and edible foods. Please come back and visit us and I hope you can share me on your social media to allow more people to benefit from much needed information. Any questions, please leave a comment. I will get back to you real soon.
Have a Bountiful Day
Founder of bountifulharvesting.com