There is nothing better for your health than working on your home garden during spring and early days of summer. The temperature is just right for outdoor gardening and you can benefit from the fresh harvest of vegetables or flowers that you could easily grow in your home garden. You could choose to have a traditional in-ground garden, a container garden or a raised bed garden or combination of all three. The benefits of home gardening are plenty. It gives your house a better look, improves the landscape of your house and on top of that, gives you a workout and a chance to spend more quality time with your friends and family.
Soil for your in-ground plants
Your garden soil needs to have all the ingredients for your plants to grow healthy. You can buy garden soil from your local garden supply stores, but it is a lot cheaper if you prepare your soil yourself by adding a few ingredients that you can find around the house. Preparing your own soil will also ensures that there are no artificial or harsh chemicals added to the soil and your soil is prepared in a sustainable manner.
Below are a few steps for preparing your soil and growing your own in ground garden:
1. Choose the best spot:
Your plants will need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily as a fundamental requirement; therefore, choosing the right spot for your plants is the first step to a successful garden. Your spot should also have sufficient drainage provision, so that your garden doesn’t become overly flooded during rain. It is also better to work with a fenced area to keep your plants safe from predators or pests.
2. Determine the soil type:
Determine the condition of your soil. If your soil has too much sand in it, it will be dry and if it has too much clay, it will make it too wet. Also check the pH level of your soil. To grow a good garden, your soil must be more basic in composition. If the pH level is too low, add some bases like limestone to the soil.
3. Turn your soil:
Your soil will be better prepared for a garden if you turn it with a shovel or with a power tiller. Using a roto tiller will make this process easier and faster than doing it manually. Dig down to at least 12 inches below the ground.
4. Add fertilizers and top soil:
Mix some compost, manure, and humus. You can prepare your own organic compost from your kitchen waste and other yard waste. You could also buy organic fertilizers from your local garden supply stores. Space the fertilizers evenly onto your top soil and let it sit for couple of days. Mix the compost into the tilled ground evenly with a shovel and rake, piercing at least 6 inches below the ground. Adding topsoil on the surface of your garden is a similar process as adding compost to your soil. Good topsoil will allow you to grow your garden immediately while your soil prepares itself for future gardening at the bottom.
Soil mix for raised bed gardening or containers
The soil for a raised bed garden and your container garden needs to be lighter than in ground garden because it needs to be amended for maximum water retention. A raised bed garden is also a lot easier on your back and knees. Your gardening will be a lot better when you provide a good mix of fertilizers and compost to your raised garden. Plants in the raised garden are faced with less competition from tree roots, your lawn grass and weed. You can easily organize your raised bed garden, because the ground is never compacted, just adding top soil makes it easy to grow your vegetables or flowers.
Choosing top soil
Soil in rainy areas tends to be more acidic and soil in the dry areas is more basic. Find out what plants will thrive best in the soil you have. Mix fertilizers or compost accordingly. Adding lime and wood ash will also help to neutralize acidic soil. Adding compost will neutralize both acetic and basic soil. Covering up your soil with mulch will retain water and keep it moist.
Screen the top soil and eliminate all weed and grass from your soil. Add equal parts of compost and manure. For small containers, you could either buy potting soil from your garden supply stores or prepare your own potting soil. You can mix one part garden soil with one part compost and one part peat moss with one part perlite. Adding Garden lime, Rock phosphate, Soybean meal, and Kelp meal will provide extra nutrients to your container garden.
Just like us humans, your plants need a balanced diet too. The more organic and natural your garden is, the more it will support the ecosystem and sustainability. Adding chemical fertilizers and pesticides may harm our health and add unnatural or harsh toxic ingredients in the environment and harm the ecological balance. Enjoy working on your garden and grow your own homegrown vegetables and flowers in your garden. This is the best way to enjoy great out door in the summer.
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Source: Balanced Life Team