If you are new to gardening you may not be aware that the type of top soil you have will have a bearing on how well your garden will grow. You may have tried going to your local nursery or home improvement store and purchased plants with little thought. Once you got your new plants home you may or may not have had them grow. If your plants didn’t do well you were likely puzzled as to the reason. The answer is likely in your soil.
The ideal type of top soil is to have sandy loam. This allows the soil to retain enough water for the plants to thrive and yet allow the water to drain sufficiently so that the plants do not become waterlogged. It is a balance, but one not difficult to sustain.
There is a lot of top soil lost every year due to normal weather conditions. It is important to either replace or replenish the top soil that is lost. If you do a lot of vegetable gardening and plant the same type of plants every year, the nutrients each plant needs will quickly become depleted. By adding more top soil into the mix or replacing those nutrients that are lost will help you to maintain the sandy loam top soil you want.
Screening and composting has become an at home way of retraining top soil. By taking the organic materials that you generally throw away in the garbage and start a compost pile. There are many different sites online that will provide directions on how to make a compost pile. The compost that you make can be added to your soil every year.
It doesn’t matter what type of soil you begin with you will be able to turn it into great top soil. If you have soil that is mostly clay you can till in sand and peat moss until your soil reaches the right consistency. If you have sandy soil you will want to add rich compost and some type of aged manure to help it hold moisture. Check with an expert at your local nursery, they may be able to recommend a good soil conditioner that is good for any kind of soil.
Maintaining your top soil is the backbone to you garden so be sure to compost and screen new soil often!