One of the biggest challenges when starting a garden isn't selecting and tending to the fruits and vegetables that you want to grow in your garden; it is cultivating the soil. IF your soil does not have enough nutrients in it, your fruit and vegetables will not grow full and healthy, no matter how much you water and tend to them. Here are two ways you can improve the quality of your soil where you want to plant your garden.
#1 Add Manure
One of the best ways to add nitrogen to your garden's soil, as well as other nutrients to the soil, is through the use of livestock manure. If you go this route, it is best to apply the manure a couple of months before you will be harvesting any vegetables from that area so you can avoid any contamination from the soil to your vegetables.
You can often purchase manure from local small farms or individuals who keep a few animals around; getting manure from small farms decreases your risk of being exposed to pathogens. Manure from larger confined livestock operations generally has a great risk of containing harmful pathogens.
It is best to apply manure once a year; if you overdo it, you can put too much phosphorus in the soil.
Another great way to add the necessary nutrients to your soil is through the process of composting; composting is also a great way to dispose of waste naturally as well. You can create your own post by building up and layering food waste, manure and green crop residue in a pile; it can help to add earthworms to the mix as well. You can also purchase compost from local farms and gardening centers.
When it comes to applying compost to your garden, you should put it on your garden in modest amounts. You should apply the compost to your garden after you have planted the vegetables; you'll want to put a really thin layer down, only about a half inch thick or so. The compost will help your soil retain water better and will cut down on potential diseases that can take hold in your soil and harm your plants.
It is also a good idea to put a thin layer of compost on your garden during the late fall; this will protect your soil throughout the winter time and add to its nutritional count.
If you want your garden to thrive, you need to take care of your soil. Although you can add typical bagged fertilizer to your garden, you can help your soil out a lot more by applying both manure and compost to your garden throughout the year. Talk to a garden supplier, such as Toledo Indoor Garden, for more info.