Preparing soil for vegetable gardening

“A Good Garden Starts With A Good Soil”

Soil is the foundation of healthy plants. If you need to grow your own plants used for food your garden needs to have a got ready sort of soil that provides good food to your plants for their growth. But if your garden does not have good soil for planting, you can get more out of it. Before planting, prepare soil for vegetable gardening.

Here I will tell you how to get your garden beds so that you will end up with your best plant used for a food garden at the end of the season. Before planting any food or vegetable, you need to dig up the soil and add organic composite at least 1-2 weeks before you start planting. Your 1st step is to test your garden soil. Then use organic materials and fertilizers to adjust the pH and waste of your soil. When your earth is ready, make it into rows so that you can grow your vegetables according to your desire.

The importance of soil for vegetable gardening is that it gives habitat for fungi, bacteria, insects, burrowing mammals and other organisms. From a young shrub to a tall tree, all the basic nutrients support, protection, and filtration are provided to the plants by soil. Soil provides basic nutrients, air and water to plants. The basic function of soil is it recycles raw material and filters water. 

Start with a Small Space:

If you are one who starts, start small. It’s better to be interested in what you are growing in your small garden than growing a big garden as it requires more time and attention and is difficult to manage. Planting a small garden is also good for beginners as you learn a few gardening basics such as how to prepare soil for vegetable gardening, before giving lots of time and money in this new hobby.

A 6×6 feet garden is considered best for beginners as it does not need much time and money. You should select up to five types of plants used for food to grow, and some plants that you like to grow. Growing plants used for food in different small vessels is also a good way to start.

Grow What You Love to Eat:

Grow your favorite vegetables in your garden. Before preparing soil for vegetable gardening, think about what do you love to eat? You should plant in your garden what you love to eat. Before preparing soil for vegetable gardening, start by choosing your favorite vegetables and then look into their sizes and care needs.

Grow What You Love to Eat

Follow these steps when you prepare your soil for vegetable garden:

1. Dig Deep

The majority of plants are content with 6 to 8 inches of excellent ground for their roots to grow in. If you’re preparing to grow potatoes, state, or carrots  go deeper still– approximately a foot or more. Not all the plants need this much ground.

2. Fill ‘Er Up’

If your backyard occurs to be blessed with fertile soil, including organic matter is less essential, however many soils can stand the improvement. Mix it with the native soil, 50-50, or even more frankly.

How to Prepare Soil for a Vegetable Garden? Rich, Crumbly Soil

Soil is life’s heaven. It’s a storehouse for all the nutrients that plants and other life forms need to grow and develop. Soil supports plants for vegetable gardens and houses millions of microorganisms that help things to grow and eventually decompose.

Some crops need clay soil and some crops grow in sand well. Many crops need rich, crumbly loam soil and grow best in that soil. Modifying the soil with fertilizers, and other soil builders such as shredded leaves is one way to gently build up a productive soil.

Here we will discuss three types of soil

1.   Sandy Soil

2.   Clay Soil

3.   Loam Soil

1. Sandy Soil

Sandy Soil

Sandy soil sewers the water very quickly and it has a disadvantage as major nutrients also go with the water which is not good for many vegetables. If you want to prepare sandy soil for vegetable gardening then prepare your soil as up to 60% sand and clay.

The environment becomes very harsh for most of the vegetables as every soil has its own benefits and disadvantages, and especially those who need more water to grow. It is considered difficult to deal with sandy soil but sandy soil has its own benefits as it drains well and you can easily dig in. Fungal diseases cause decay in the garden.

Sandy soil also helps to avoid this. If you are dealing with sand soil then you must add plenty of compost, leaf mold, or other organic matter that can improve the water reservation quality of the sandy soil. Sandy soil tends to dry out in the summer but they warm up very quickly in the spring.

Some vegetables grow easily in the sandy soil. These vegetables are

vegetables grow easily in the sandy soil

●      CARROTS

Due to the tap roots of carrots they easily penetrate into the ground. Carrots have root systems due to which they grow better in sandy soil. That’s why sandy soil is a perfect growing medium for carrots as it provides depth to the roots.

●       RADISHES

Radish is also a taproot vegetable that needs depth in the ground. Radish is also a sandy soil vegetable.

●       POTATOES

Potatoes grow well in acidic soil. That’s why they easily bloom in sandy soil. Soil with acidic quality helps to remove the possibility of crust.

●       TOMATOES

Tomatoes need a well-drained habitat for its growth. Tomatoes grow well in warm environments and sandy soil provides them that environment.

●       CUCUMBER

Cucumbers grow well in well-drained soil. It means that the sandy medium is perfect for the great yield of cucumber. 

●       BEANS

Beans like well-drained soil but it is mandatory to provide them with all possible and major nutrients.

●       ONIONS

Onions grow below the surface of the ground. This strong herb is used almost in most of the dishes. Onions like warm environments and grow in sand. 

●       CORN

Corn is a heavy feeder. It grows well in sandy soil if you fertilize it. For the best yield, you should focus on the maintenance of the soil and add suitable modifications to the soil.

●       STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries are a favorite fruit of almost everyone. Strawberries like warm days and cool nights. They favor well-drained soil which is the specialty of sand.

2. Clay Soil:

Clay Soil

Preparing clay soil for vegetable gardening is also an important task. As compared to sandy soil, clay soil holds moisture well. Clay soil has few air spaces that is why it is poor at draining. Like sandy soil, clay soil also has many benefits such as it is a great source of nutrients, but without maintenance and care, these nutrients are useless.

Clay soil cannot be easily managed but it doesn’t mean you can’t grow vegetables in this soil. If you want your soil to be grow able then add lots of organic matter such as fertilizer, shredded leaves, peat moss and gypsum from time to time. Your plants can’t access basic nutrients because clay soil exists without oxygen, that’s a disadvantage of clay soil.

Here are some vegetables which can grow easily in the clay soil.

vegetables which can grow easily in the clay soil

  •    POTATOES

Potato is a type of vegetable which can grow easily in a wide range of soil. But you should remember that alkaline soil is not good for potatoes and they prefer acidic soil. So you need to add those organic matters to comparatively acidic clay soil.  

●      CARROTS

If you are growing carrots in clay soil then it is not possible that you will get long plump tubers of carrots because it is hard for them to probe in clay soil. 

●       CABBAGE

Clay Soil does not affect cabbage plants. They can tolerate a salty environment and can grow well in winter. Cabbage grows well in clay soil and it is a specialty of only clay soil that it is very cool.

●       BROCCOLI

Clay soil can maintain moisture. Broccoli loves moisture so it doesn’t need a heavy water system. Broccoli grows well in clay soil.

●       PEAS

Peas grow well in clay soil. Peas prefer the pH of soil 6 to 7.5. They can grow both in alkaline and acidic soil. Clay soil has water so peas do not need much water. After harvest you leave the roots of pea plants inside the soil because they provide nitrogenous and organic nutrients to the soil. 

●       PUMPKINS

Just like all other vegetables pumpkin also requires fertility although it is not choosy about soil texture.

●       CAULIFLOWER

It is easy for cauliflower to grow in clay soil. But you should add compost or other organic nutrients to your soil before planting cauliflower as it will help for better yield. 

3.  Loam Soil:

Loam Soil

Loam soil is mostly composed of sand, silt, and clay.  It is the most desired type of soil to use in gardens. The reason loam soil is perfect for gardening is because it contains moisture well, but also drains at a proper rate. It has ideal characteristics of vegetable gardening, lawns and shrubs. You don’t need to do much effort if you have naturally loamy soil.

Simple Tests to Determine Your Soil Type

There are some simple tests you can do at your home to determine soil type.

Water Test:

Water Test

Pore some water into your garden. If it drains quickly it is sandy or gravelly soil whereas on clay soil water will get time to sink in.

Squeeze Test:

Squeeze Test

When soil is wet, grab a handful and give it a squeeze. Then, open your hand, tap the dirt ball and look at the soil texture.

  1. If it’s a sticky wedge that won’t easily break apart, it has a lot of clay.
  2. Soil that falls down easily and won’t hold the shape of the fist has too much sand.
  3. If the soil doesn’t break apart and also not fall into pieces than its loam soil – a balanced mix of sand and clay with organic matter.

Acid Test:

Garden’s soil pH can be checked without a soil test kit for a fraction of the price. You need to collect 1 cup of soil from different areas of the garden and put 2 spoons into separate containers. Mix half cup of white vinegar to the soil. If it fizzes then you have alkaline soil, having a pH between 7 and 8.

If it doesn’t fizz after adding the vinegar, then add filtered water to another container until 2 teaspoons of soil are dirty. Add half cup baking soda into the container. If it fizzes then you have acidic soil, a pH between 5 and 6.

Acid Test

  • Good soil provides you with nutrition enriched vegetables and fruits.
  • Basic function of soil is storage, filtering water, and transformation.
  • Only good soil can give you a better plant community.
  • By growing your own vegetables in a good soil you can save a lot of money as it’s a healthy and cheap way.
  • Growing your own vegetables is a wonderful hobby for anyone who likes to achieve a trim and healthy physique.