Soil is one of the most decisive factors for the yield of a vegetable garden. Good soil preparation, as well as proper nutrient supplementation, will keep veggies growing happily.
This task isn’t really easy as you have to determine the type of soil in your garden to get the right preparation. But it’s neither hard.
Follow this guide and you’ll know how to prepare ground for a vegetable garden like a pro.
Four Basic Steps In A Soil Preparation Process
There are four main steps in any soil preparation process:
- Applying agricultural lime
- Improving soil porosity
- Soil nutrient supplementation
Why are there these four steps?
It’s because once exposed outdoors, the soil is hugely affected by weather conditions. For example, sunlight is the major cause that makes soil discolored; heavy rainfall causes soil nutrient erosion, which is a good chance for fungi and bacteria to grow.
These steps help improve the soil quality in most aspects to withstand the harsh weather abuse as well as provide enough nutrients to plants for a longer time.
Applying Agricultural Lime
If applying lime properly in terms of time and volume, distributes a lot of benefits to your soil, such as:
- Reduce soil’s acidity
- Disinfect plus prevent fungi and plant diseases
- Provide calcium, which enhances plant root growth
- Prevent soil degradation
How to apply agricultural lime properly?
The amount of lime required on each soil type depends on two elements:
Soil’s pH – the more acidic the pH level, the more amount of lime required The amount of organic matter in the soil – the less organic the soil is, the less the fertilizer to be applied
Type of soil
The required amount of lime
Sandy soil with less organic matter
3.5 to 4.5
4.6 to 5.5
5.6 to 6.5
Clay soil lots of organic matter
3.5 to 4.5
4.6 to 5.5
5.6 to 6.5
Aeration is a great solution to improve the air movement in your soil.
Just like leaves, plant roots need respiration, and during this process, they release CO2 that will then exchange for mineral ions existing in the soil surface. The higher the CO2 concentration in soil, the stronger the exchange that takes place.
Meanwhile, plant roots need a high concentration of O2 to boost respiration, creating a high osmotic pressure to receive water and nutrients from the soil.
If your soil is heavily eroded, add new topsoil layers to its surface to improve the overall soil’s quality.
Improve Soil Porosity
This step is a must for those soil types that have been cultivated for years with a little renovation, and they start showing signs of degradation.
Try using rice stubble, straw, or green plants to compost and mix into the soil.
Soil Nutrient Supplementation
To supplement nutrients and minerals to garden soil, add earthworm manure, compost, or organic fertilizers, which are very eco-friendly and effective.
In particular, earthworm manure is a safe biological fertilizer that offers many benefits to the soil such as increasing soil’s moisture retention capacity and dissolving indigestible nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
How to mix
- Plastic trays or foam containers – you should choose plastic trays from a smart mesh layer to prevent veggies from waterlogging
- Cultivated soil
- Rice husk ash, coconut fiber, or sawdust to improve soil porosity
- Fertilizers (compost, treated cow manure, or microbiological fertilizer)
Earthworm manure is very good because it has a lot of nutrients to help you when growing plants without having to add any other fertilizers.
Besides, it helps decompose the organic matter residue during the planting and harvesting process.
Microbiological fertilizer is a type of fertilizer that does not cause burnt roots on plants, you should apply it in a proper proportion to stimulate plant growth.
For soil that has been discolored, treating it with cow manure will help a lot. This odorless fertilizer makes the soil porous and rich in nutrients.
Since each type of vegetable needs a specific amount of nutrients, you’ll have to mix the soil in a different way accordingly.
For example, for leafy vegetable gardens, follow this ratio: 5 parts of ground soil + 3 parts of ash + 2 parts of fertilizer.
If you use the soil taken from a random field or constructions, it is necessary to treat them to remove pathogens, fungi, and bacteria – dry, grind and mix with lime before adding fertilizer.
With different types of soil, we have a specific preparation plan to promote a better metabolism in vegetables, increase seed germination, and improve the yield. This is the end of this post. Hope you find it is helpful in your process to prepare ground for vegetable garden.
Please let us know if you have any inquiries. Finally, thanks for reading!