The soil is the storehouse for all good things. Knowledge of the elements to good garden soil is the key to growing strong and healthy garden plants.
Three Elements To Good Soil
There are three elements all garden soil should have, a healthy balance of each will provide the best possible outcome for your garden plants.
Sand – Sand soil is made up of small broken rock masses. You can tell this soil apart from others by its lightness. Lightness doesn’t mean by color or weight but by the looseness of the soil.
Clay – Clay soil is sticky and holds clumps and masses. It has a tendency to cake, crack and bake in the hot sun. The soil is considered heavy soil.
Humus – Humus soil is largely made up of dead and decayed animal and plant matter. The soil is dark and rich in color.
Soil and Amending
If you have too much of one kind of the above soil you could run into issues during your garden season.
Too Much Sand – If you have too much sand in your soil the water will drain too quickly. How do you improve sandy soil? Add something to bind the loose soil sand particles together. Humus (manure) is a good choice. Spread about 2-4 inches deep and spade it into the sand.
Too Much Clay – Clay absorbs water and that is a good thing in the garden. Although soil containing too much clay will sometimes squeeze together so tightly that it will shut out the air the soil needs to flourish and create standing water. Sand would be an excellent choice to lighten the soil in the spring that has too much clay. In the fall add soil and turn the clay soil well, allowing air to circulate into the soil. Consider adding Garden Lime to sweeten up the soil a bit too.
Too Much Humus – This is where things get a little tricky. We are getting into the chemical side of gardening. It isn’t difficult to learn by any means. There are many chemicals in soil that act as food sources for plants. But, only three are essentials to growing healthy plants they are: Nitrogen , Potash , and Phosphorus. Those three regulate the humus in your soil.
Three Essential Soil Chemicals To Growing Healthy Plants
Nitrogen – The source of nitrogen is manure. Nitrogen provides the food source to grow healthy green leaves and stalks. If foliage looks sick and not strong then Nitrogen Fertilizer is needed in your soil. Lettuce is a good example of a plant that needs nitrogen.
Phosphorus – Phosphorus helps the plants grow blooms that turn into the fruits of the plant. To add phosphorus to your soil add bone ash or Phosphate.
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