3 Common Soil Problems and Their Solutions
You cannot plant and grow lovely garden flowers or vegetables if you do not maintain the soil in your garden in perfect condition. Improving the soils is essential for increasing your garden’s productivity, but the different problems require different amendments. Here are some of the most common soil problems and the best ways to deal with them:
Not Enough Organic Matter
If your garden lacks soil life, it probably suffers from poor water drainage and the plants are remissive. The solution of this issue is to spread compost that reaches 3-inches deep in the soil and forms an equally thick layer over the ground. Soil biology will also truly benefit from cover crops, crop rotation and conservation tillage. An excellent idea is to buy some amendments containing beneficial bacteria and thus ensure that your soil will be provided with everything it needs to be healthy and productive.
Too Dry/Wet Soil
If your garden beds dry out, because they drain too fast, compost can again be a great solution to the problem. It will really amend the soil, adding nutrients and improving its capacity to retain water. Be careful to use only mature compost, otherwise your plants may be deprived of supplements. You can also prevent water evaporation by mulching the soil around the planted crops.
Enhance soil drainage and fight excessive dampness by adding some extra space between the particles of the earth. To achieve this, you can incorporate sand or gravel in the soil. Such amendments, however, might also require additional organic matter that will bring more nutrients to your garden. Be careful and do not add sand to clay soils, because this will turn the soil. Gardening specialists recommend raised beds in such a situation as they help the planted areas drain quicker. Avoid planting your greenery in areas that are too close to natural water pathways or it will be very hard for you to take care of the plants.
Too High/Low PH Levels
Alkaline soils can be amended with iron sulfate or elemental sulfur. If you choose to use sulfur, you should apply it to the garden soil about a year prior to planting the crops as its reaction is slow. If the pH level of your soil is generally high, check it yearly and add amendments whenever needed. Of course, you can simply accept the fact that your garden has alkaline soil and grow plants that are suitable for such conditions such as spinach, asparagus, lettuce and cabbage, for instance.
Many gardeners’ favorite amendment for acidic soils is lime. Apply the lime depending on the soil’s type and pH to avoid possible negative effects on your greenery, caused by over application. For more organic gardening, you can treat the soil with wood ash, but you should apply the ash very carefully as well. An excessive amount can increase the level of potassium in the soil, which will suspend your plants from soaking other kinds of nutrients. Some of the crops that tolerate soils with lower pH are potatoes, radishes, apples and raspberries, so you can consider growing such in your garden, instead of constantly trying to reduce the soil’s acidity.
The more you take care of your garden, the healthier and the richer it will become. Yet, sometimes too much chemicals can have a negative impact on your soil or produce. Trying to go more eco-friendly is never a mistake and nowadays there are plenty of organic amendments that you can use to boost your garden. The biological soil amendments by Living Soils are an excellent way to stimulate your soil with fertilizers which contain plenty of beneficial microorganisms.