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Soil Preparation for Your Country Garden | GoodByeCityLIfe.com Gardens

Garden Soil Preparation

Organic Garlic grown from seed...Garden soil preparation has got to be the hardest part of growing your own vegetable garden when you want to get the most out of your garden.

This can be hard labor to dig up all that soil the first time, turning and feeding it. Its even more difficult if you have grass or rocks in the place where you want to have your garden. If you have grass you will want to dig up that grass and cart it off in the wheelbarrow, to your compost heap. You will now need need a lot more soil to replace the several inches you had to dig into the ground.

Use the wheelbarrow to transport the grass or weeds that you did up and get rid of them. The soil for your garden should be as pure as possible and free of any weeds, rocks or clay. If you are stuck with clay under the grass, you can turn it over with the spade and mix in some good top soil to create a healthy growing medium.

Start by digging out a small section of the ground, then work your way through the entire area until you have dug up the entire garden. It is best to do this a day or two after a rain as the ground will be a lot softer and easier to manage and any weeds will be easier to pull.

Once you get rid of all rocks, weeds and grass, you can then move onto garden soil preparation. Use your spade to dig up the soil and then flip it over. You should do this throughout the entire garden. You can use the end of the spade to chop up any hardened clumps in the soil. Soil needs to be as smooth as possible before you plant your vegetables or seeds.

Your garden hoe will loosen the earth even more. When doing garden soil preparation I like to think of the soil as fluffy or light. Not heavy like clay, nor fine and dry like sand. You simply work the soil until you have a fine consistency. You have to keep chopping and tilling the soil.

For best results with your vegetable garden, you need to carry on in this garden soil preparation until the point where it falls easily between your hands when you pick it up. Assessing the quality of soil you currently have will help you determine what type of top soil you might need to add – if any. The two ways to do this is to dig out the garden a half a foot down and fill it with top soil, or use the soil that you have, chopping it up as much as you can before you plant. The latter is the least expensive option and, despite the fact that it sounds difficult, is just as hard as digging into the ground and pulling up clay.

You might choose to give your plants a boost by adding in store bought soil as this will make it easier for them to adjust to their new home. Fertilizer may not seem like something that you want to handle, but it is organic and does work very well to allow for plants to grow to their maximum potential. This is just another aspect to proper garden soil preparation to consider.

Once you have the soil to the point where it has all been turned over and chopped up, is rid of clumps of dirt, rocks and weeds or grass, you can then add several bags of top soil to the mix. Top soil is a fine grain of soil that will enable your vegetables to grow even better. You can also choose a fertilized soil or growing medium. This allows your plants to grow well but if you’re attempting an organic vegetable garden be sure to read the labels of any purchased soil or fertilizer.

To finish up your garden soil preparation, take your garden rake and smooth the ground over. You should use the rake to mix in all of the soil and make sure that the soil is flat and easy for planting.

Next you can make rows between the areas where you want to plant your vegetables or seeds. The crops should sit up higher than these rows that will allow you to walk between the crops for maintenance, and also allow any rain to fall off into the rows. Creating mini-drainage ditches in your garden is not absolutely necessary, but can help you if you live in an area where there is a lot of rain. While water is naturally important for crops to grow, too much can end up flooding out your garden. Most of my readers will agree that there is not a lot of rain in the summer months but if you are in an area with high precipitation during the growing season it is worth consideration.

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era.

Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.

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