How to Know if your Garden Needs Help
Soil is the main ingredient in every great garden, and you have to understand the tillage of your soil to be able to help your garden. So what is good tillage? Tillage is the suitability of your soil to grow. Characteristics of good soil are that it will crumble in your hand while also having large pieces. It will have lots of organic matter and hold nutrients and water well. You will know if it is bad soil or not suitable to grow in if it has a powdery look or it doesn’t hold nutrients and water well.
Another thing to look for when trying to spot lousy tillage is if there is an impacted or crusted layer on top. That layer will cause water not to soak in, making the nutrients die down.
We all want to be good stewards of our soil, and growing a garden is doing just that. If your soil is not suitable to grow, then how can we be good stewards? These next few steps will help your soil become nutrient-rich and help you produce the most amount of fruit.
Tip 1 to Help your Garden- Make it Organic.
The first important step in helping your garden has good soil is making sure it has plenty of organic matter in it. The main way many people do this is by adding compost. Compost can be any organic matter that has decomposed, you can start your compost pile, or you can get manure. Both of those ways will help boost your soil nutrients and the overall tillage of your soil. We take and take from our garden, but we have to remember that we must feed our earth as well to make sure we get the most out of it.
Tip 2-Change it Up
Crop rotation is significant in all scales of gardening/farming. Another way to add nutrients to the soil is by having those cover crops before you plant. Do your research on what type of cover crop will be best for your soil. For a garden that is still really lacking that nutrients, we suggest that you do a mix of Rye and Buckwheat. Those two will add the most organic material back into the soil. All soils are different, though, and a lot of it depends on your weather. There are many cover crops out there, and if you mix the right ones, you can get the most out of your soil.
Also, know what crops you planted in that plot the season before to make sure you’re not planting the same species. If you continue to plant the same family in the same place, it will use all of those specific nutrients that family needs leaving the next ones to die. That is why it is essential to have a cover crop in between two crops. Doing that will make sure your soil is getting replenished.
Tip 3-Do Not Beat your Soil.
When we say don’t beat your soil, we mean it. One big thing that hurts your garden that many people don’t realize is over tilling it. When you continue till after it is needed, it continues to break up the soil making it harder for the soil to hold water and the nutrients it needs. After you cut down your cover crop, you can till it in one good time then use your wheel hoe to get the soil ready. You don’t want to cultivate your soil with the tiller but with something else instead of the wheel hoe. That over tilling is where you get the powdery look, and when you are continuing to break it up after it’s needed, it will cause long term problems.
Check out the video below to see the effects of over-tilling!!