Having healthy and good quality soil is vital in achieving a lush and beautiful garden. However, not every homeowner can have this type of soil in their space. Although some property owners may naturally have healthy soil in their yard, others may have a problem or two with their soil’s quality. If the earth in your place is too sandy, acidic, or has many stones or clay in it, don’t worry because our team got you covered.
At Ballarat Arborist, we strive hard to find practical solutions that can help improve the health and survival of your trees and gardens. Let us guide you in transforming your lifeless or hardpan soil into healthy and ideal soil for gardening. Check out the tips we will share with you below so you can properly enhance and maintain good soil quality.
Have proper organic matter management.
Having proper organic matter management can help enhance the physical condition of the soil or its tilth. This practice ensures that the soil will retain enough moisture to keep the plants and trees healthy. Poor soil quality is often caused by a lack of organic matter in the soil. That is why it is beneficial to regularly add organic matter to improve the structure of the soil. You can do this by leaving plant residues in your garden, mulching, applying manure or compost or trying optimal water and nutrient management practices.
Avoid excessive tillage.
Although tilling its surface can quickly aerate and loosen the soil, excessive tillage can also cause detrimental damages to the soil in the long run. If you just want to prepare your yard or a small area for planting, it might be better to do it by hand because using the mechanical method may cause the soil and its nutrients to erode when the wind blows or when it rains. Using a broadfork or digging fork is also recommended because it can efficiently aerate and gently loosen the soil without causing severe damage to the soil’s tilth.
Establish permanent garden beds and pathways.
Stepping on garden beds or the soil where you plan to plant can destroy the habitat of the beneficial soil organisms and affect the soil’s physical condition. That is why it is vital to designate a permanent area where you will have your garden beds and a space where you can create a pathway. Having a clearly defined pathway can help you reach the areas you want to plant on without stepping inside the garden beds. This tip can also help you save time and money because you just have to manage the permanent garden beds instead of maintaining and making amendments to your whole garden every time you decide to have new plants.
Try planting cover crops.
Planting cover crops such as buckwheat, cowpeas and daikon radish is a great way to improve your soil’s quality. They are a natural source of nutrients and organic matter for your soil. Besides that, they can also help improve aeration and drainage. You can grow them in rotation with other plants throughout the year.
Properly manage pests.
The soil has the natural ability to resist pests. However, its capacity is limited, so it might need the help of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. These chemicals have valuable benefits that can improve the soil’s quality, but they can also be a disadvantage when not managed correctly. Too much fertilizer or pesticide can harm the essential organic matter and pollute the soil. If you use chemical-based products, make sure that you test and apply them to areas where they are needed.