Soil is the foundation for a great yard. Without the right soil, you’ll never be able to create a thriving outdoor environment that gives you relaxation, attracts beautiful wildlife, and supports the local habitat. Yet too many people neglect the process of evaluating their soil before looking to create or modify their plan for an organic garden.
Here’s what you need to know to ensure your soil is ready for an organic garden, and a few steps you can take to help it get that way if necessary:
Soil testing is an analysis of the nutrient content, contaminants, composition, and other traits of the soil in your yard. With a soil test you can tell which plants can be grown in your yard and what kind of deficiencies or damage there might be to your soil, which in turn gives you information that can be used to plan your outdoor space.
To get your soil tested, you’ll need to purchase a soil testing kit. You can find these tests from several different places - gardening co-ops may have them in stock depending on where you look. Be careful about buying tests from a garden center or home improvement store - they test by adding water, relying too much on visual acuity. If you want to make sure you have a completely accurate test, an easy, reliable place to get your soil tested is from the University of Massachusetts’ Soil & Plant Nutrient Testing lab, located here. You can send a sample of your soil to get tested and should receive results in 10-15 business days.
What should you be looking for in your organic soil? There are a few critical attributes:
These are just a few of the elements you’ll need in your soil for a top-caliber organic garden. For a full list, check out resources online, such as this guide to better garden soil from Mother Earth News.
It’s great if you have perfect soil for gardening, but what happens if it needs improvement before you can grow the right plants? The solution is to add specific elements to the soil:
At Moodscapes, we’ve seen all different types of soil and are especially experienced with the clay-heavy soil found in most Massachusetts yards. Contact us today to learn about how we can ensure your soil is ready to be a strong foundation for your organic outdoor space.
Moodscapes LLC is an organic landscape design and service company with a focus on helping you extend your life outdoors to enjoy activities on your own, as a family and with friends. We create opportunities for you to commune with and find joy and peace in nature and to live in an ecologically friendly and healthy environment. Please explore our landscape services and the portfolio that demonstrates many examples of our work.