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How to Determine the Right Soil (organic matter) For Your Garden?
The soil is arguably is the most significant aspect of healthy gardening, unfortunately for many dirt is also considered as soil (organic matter) in gardening. While for many people selecting soil is the least important factor, and they engage in selecting a plant, right place, fertilizers, pots etc. but soil, as a non-glamorous object, is the most important part for growth and development of your plants.
In organic gardening, soil plays the pivotal part in healthy survival of plants. There are many soil suppliers who can supply healthy mix of soil with right pH concentration, soil concentration and keep other factors in mind. However, if you are a gardener, you must know the intricacies of appropriate nature of the blended soil.
The soil in a typical garden approximately consists of 90% mineral residue and only 10% decayed organic matter. Therefore, it is important to add decayed organic matter to soil to feed microorganisms and release nitrogen into the soil. Organisms like earthworm are beneficial for soil as this creature help to aerate the soil and contribute healthy macronutrients through their waste and decomposition.
Features of healthy soil
First important part of healthy soil is soil texture. Soil texture means the size of soil particles determined by many factors such as silt, sand, and others.
• It is always visible and present in the soil, which makes it coarse and hardy. Sand is important as it helps to drain it quickly.
• Silt particles are smaller than sand but in irregular shape.
• Clay has microscopic sized particles, which can be combined together easily. Too much clay makes it harder to soil to breathe properly.
The second important part is soil structure, how everything in soil is bonded together. If the soil breaks apart easily, it is mostly sand, and if you need to apply a bit more pressure to break it apart, the majority component is silt. If the soil sticks to your hand, the clay percentage is more. The ideal soil is the mixture of everything. The soil should be crumbly and can allow drainage easily.
Two important ways to improve the soil structure are:
• Cultivate certain soil-dwelling creature such as earthworm that helps to aerate the soil and add macronutrient to it.
• Any good compost, preferably organic matter helps to create good topsoil by enriching it through micronutrients.
Soil pH is a most overlooked aspect of gardening. Most seasoned gardeners know the ideal pH condition of soil that is not too acidic, not too alkaline. It also depends on what types of plants you want to bloom in your soil. For example, rhododendrons and blueberries are flourished in a bit acidic pH, but lilacs and clematis bloom in alkaline soil.
Organic matter like compost, green manure, aged animal manure work wonders with the soil health. It feeds the microorganism and insects and helps soil structure. Finished compost looks like finished soil, crumbly with earth soil. You can buy it from any nursery and add it at any time.
It is recommended to use aged animal manure as fresh manure contains acidic content that can burn roots. Also, fresh manure contains harmful bacteria that are detrimental to soil growth