Giving your vegetables a head start
Garden vegetables are as good as the soil they were planted in, don’t get me wrong because garden plants can be planted in the right soil type and still suffer setbacks because of some other reason but what I want t say here is that garden soil is at the heart of growing plants that are healthy which will give you a good harvest come harvest time.
I have had a few vegetable gardens as a child and to be honest with you my little garden flourished and I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labour because I made sure that my garden was well taken care of. For those of you who have tried over and over again to grow vegetables but without success, you have come to the right place to have garden success.
There is nothing like eating the fruits of your labour this was my experience on many occasions and you can have this experience also. So just follow along and get set as you finally once and for all put an end of not being able to reap a good harvest of the time and efforts that you put into your garden.
You may say but I already have the perfect soil that’s ok there is nothing wrong with helping your soil by adding natural organics which will further build your soil.
To the average person, all soil is the seem but the answer to that question is all soils are not the same therefore in order to have garden success this must be understood. Different plants require different soil type and by having an understanding will bring you a step closer to gardening successfully. For more on garden soil follow this link. Garden soil nature’s gold.
Vegetable garden soil improvement
Before we being what you will need is some basic garden tools, these tools include
- Spade shovel
A great way to build your garden soil is with compost. Compost is natural organics such as grass clippings, leaves, vegetable remains and other natural organics which can help you to build healthy garden soils. Another proven method is adding age cow, chicken or horse, manure. The wheelbarrow can be used to carry your organic materials into your garden.
With the shovel begin to place the organic on to the surface of your garden soil, after you have placed a few shovels of organic in small heaps throughout your garden area use the shovel and begin to work or mix both the soil and the organics together. This organic should be mixed no more than six inches with your garden soil. With the rake, rake the surface of the soil lightly so it can be levelled.
Mulches are another natural organic that can be added to the soil. Placing a 2-3 inch layer around your garden plants will help to suppress weeds, retain moisture, keep the soil temperature cool on long hot summer days and as mulches break down or decompose it will all nutrients to the soil.
Introducing worms into your garden soil has proven to give good results. As the worms feed on organic matter and excrete, their excrement is what adds nutrients to the soil.
The use of raised beds is really amazing. Raised beds are designed where the soil in which the plants are grown does not make contact with the existing surround soils. Raised beds can be constructed in any shape or size to meet your needs. For more on how this is done follow the link. Building a raised bed garden.
The building blocks of plants
In some ways, garden plants are like humans, just as we need vitamins in order to stay healthy and strong so do plants. Whether we get those vitamins from the food that we consume or by the intake of supplements, it is clear our bodies cannot function at its best without the help of vitamins.
So what are these building blocks that play such a vital role in the life of garden plants and what part do these vitamins play? Here is a quick summary.
1. Nitrogen is needed to help plants green up.
2. Phorprous helps encourages flower production, root stimulation, help in the formation of oils and help plants to stand up to stress.
3. Potassium increases the quality of seeds and helps in the building of protein.
4. Calcium aids in photosynthesis, strengthing plant cell wall and stimulating microbial activity.
5. Sulfur improves roots and seed production.
6. Boron aids in regulating other vitamins help in transporting sugars and aids in seeds and cell wall production.
7. Chloride helps plant metabolism and aids with plants maturity.
8. Copper helps with chlorophyll, as well as helping plants in their growth.
9. Iron helps with plant cell division as well as adding in the formation of chlorophyll.
10. Manganese aids in breaking down of carbohydrates and plants chlorophyll
11. Magnesium helps to give leaves their green colour in order to trap sunlight to help with its food production.
12. Molybdenum aids in forming a plants enzymes also converting inorganic to organic which plants use.
13. Zinc aids in the transformation of carbohydrates and helps in the formation of a plants growth hormone.
Non-Mineral Nutrients consist of:
1. Oxygen (O)
2. Carbon (C)
These nutrients are found in the air and water. Plants use these elements along with the sun’s energy to convert them to starch and sugars
The purpose of adding organic matter
The purpose of adding organic matter is that it will help to condition your garden soil making your soil fit for your vegetables. Organics will help to make your soil nutrient rich, give your garden soil the ability to absorb and hold water and fertilizers to be used by your plant. Adding organics will also help your garden soil to have proper drainage. A point to remember is good garden soil will aid in harvesting a healthy crop.
The final word
Adding organic matter is a must because by not using organics you will be shortchanging your plants as well as your self from growing healthy vegetables. If you have not as yet then I urge you to give organics a try I am sure you will be glad that you did as you reap a good harvest and saving money by growing and harvesting vegetables from your home garden.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.
6 thoughts on “Vegetable Garden Soil Improvement”
Thanks for this informative post.I do plant vegetables in my garden in front of my building but they don’t grow well. I’m always displeased with the harvests I get from them although I never try any of this way of improving the soil.All the soil improvement ways you posted, I will try them out this coming year and I believe it will work out. I really appreciate you for this information.
Hello Lok and thanks so much for those kind words. One of the keys to gardening successfully is using the right kind of soil from there you build on that and you will have much success.
This has been one of my troubles when trying to grow vegetables and herbs for years. I never understood that preparing and nurturing the soil was just as, if not more, important that preparing and nurturing the plant itself. After reading your article, however, I feel more prepared to take on a vegetable garden the next time I have the opportunity to do so. Thanks for a great article!
Hello Steve, garden soils is at the heart of gardening successfully. The soil is the foundation from there you begin to build, it is like constructing a house starting from the ground up. Again it is my pleasure to help. Have a good day my friend.
I pretty much have a brown thumb, but I want to learn how to grow things and not kill them! (It’s funny too because my Dad’s side of the family are farmers and they all know how to grow things so well! I guess I didn’t get that gene. lol)
The issue that I have is that I live in a townhouse and don’t have a garden. But I like to grow things in pots. Can I still use the same soil strategies for pots? Would anything change? I don’t think I would really be able to add worms, but I could probably still add manure, compost and / or mulch.
Do you have any advice for pot growing? My brown thumb needs help!
Hello Christina and no you don’t have a brown thumb lol, it is all about knowing how and you will be well on your way. Container gardening is really amazing and there is so much advantages to having thes type gardens. Yes you can use garden soil along with adding compost and be successful at growing your veggies from your contaniers. Please let me know how it goes and wishing you all the best of success. Have a wonderful day.