1. Dig, Lift, and Turn:
Begin to prepare the soil by loosening and turning it. This simple process allows more air to penetrate the soil, which is vital for robust root growth. Well-aerated soil ensures your plants get the oxygen they need for healthy development. If you prefer a no-dig approach, discover our guide to no-dig gardening here.
2. Test Soil pH and Nutrient Levels:
Before adding any amendments, test your soil’s pH and nutrient levels. Knowing the soil’s current state helps in making informed decisions about what amendments it needs. You can use a home testing kit or seek assistance from a local extension office.
3. Add Manure, Fertiliser, or Compost:
Incorporate rich organic matter like manure or compost. These additions infuse your soil with essential nutrients, making the growing medium far more fertile and conducive to plant growth. If you cannot get a hold of good quality compost, consider improving it with Envii Compost Probiotic, or better yet why not make your own?
4. Incorporate Additional Organic Matter:
Besides the traditional manure and compost, add other forms of organic matter such as leaf mould, grass clippings, or straw. These materials further enhance soil structure, helping with moisture retention and aeration.
5. Use Green Manure/Cover Crops:
Planting cover crops like clover or rye in your garden during the off-season can greatly improve soil quality. These plants add organic matter, prevent erosion, and can fix nitrogen, enriching the soil.
6. Add ‘Good’ Bacteria:
Utilise a probiotic soil improver, such as Envii Activearth, to populate your soil with beneficial bacteria. These microorganisms play a crucial role in nutrient absorption and overall soil health. Activearth will also encourage earthworms and create aeration and drainage in your soil.
7. Give It Time:
Prepare soil over two to three weeks. Start by turning it over, then add your organic amendments. Allow time between each step for the soil to absorb the nutrients and for the good bacteria to establish themselves.
After planting, apply a layer of mulch. This helps in moisture retention, temperature regulation, and weed control. Organic mulches also contribute to the nutrient content as they decompose.
9. Monitor Watering and Avoid Compaction:
Be mindful of your watering practices to prevent soil compaction and nutrient runoff. Also, avoid walking on garden beds and use raised beds or paths to minimise soil compaction.
10. Prepare for Next Year:
Once the growing season is over, start preparing for the next. Dig, lift, and turn your soil again, adding more organic matter and probiotic soil improver. This process helps decompose plant roots and debris, enriching the soil for the following year.