Master Gardener: How to Improve Your Soil

Master Gardener: How to Improve Your Soil

soilThe soil is one of the most important aspect and focus when it comes to the field of gardening.

The health of the plants also relies on the soil, so the condition of the soil is truly an important matter.

Improving and maintaining a soil of good quality is perhaps considered as one of the most important tasks in gardening.

Plant growth and health is very dependent on the condition of the soil because this is where plants take water and minerals that are important for them.

If you want to have better and healthier plants, whether you have a vegetable garden or another type of garden, you should know where to focus first.

Healthy Soil Uncovered

A healthy soil is the type of soil that can supply or provide your plants with almost everything needed for them to grow healthily- minerals, nutrients and water.

To be able to determine whether soil is considered healthy or not, there are basic criteria to be checked.

A healthy soil must have characteristics like:

•The presence of soil organisms. If soil organisms like earthworms are present in your soil, it means you have a good soil. These organisms help decompose organic matter and cycle the nutrients in the soil into the right and preferable state.

• Soil texture. The condition of the soil can also be determined by its texture. A healthy soil when squeezed in between your fingers will do the trick. If the soil you tested is loose and kind of crumbly, then it is surely healthy.

• Color. The color of the soil is also an excellent indicator whether it is healthy or not. The key to the soil’s health is the presence of organic matter. When the soil appears to be black or dark brown in color, then it indicates the presence of high levels of organic matter.

• Odor and smell. It may sound odd but the odor of the soil is also an indication of its health condition. A good-quality soil should have little odor or may smell pleasant and fresh. If you smell other scents like that comparable to ammonia or being swampy or rotten, it indicates that the soil has problems like poor drainage or the lack of oxygen.

• Soil drainage. This characteristic of soil measures its ability to hold and drain water. You can measure the soil’s drainage by simply digging a hole on your garden or wherever spot you want to test, and filling the hole with water. If the water drains fast, it indicates good drainage and is considered a healthy soil.

Improve Your Soil and Use an Arborist If Needed

If you have a not-so-healthy soil type in your garden, you don’t have to lose hope. There are easy ways to improve your soil health and condition, and are guaranteed to bring back the life to your plants. If you’re not the type to get into the garden and more of a city person, you might try a arborist western suburbs person to come out and help get your soil, trees, and plants back to good health.

These tips are really easy and effective and all you have to do is follow these:

Magic of Organic Matter

Organic matter is widely used to improve the health of the soil. It is also known as compost or humus. This organic matter is retentive to both water and nutrients which is good for plants and improve soil properties when added and mixed with the “problematic soil”, like those with issues with lack of nutrients and inability to hold water long enough. It is also used in almost all soil type when you want to improve its condition, may your soil be sandy or clay-type.


Earthworms are very beneficial to the soil. These creatures creates holes and “tunnels” through the soil- creating spaces and are packets- which allows the soil to “breathe” and also allows for the movement of air and water in the soil. Earthworms also help break down organic matter in the soil.


Tilling is the process of loosening the soil. This activity allows the soil to “breathe” and for other soil amendments like humus to be mixed with the soil underneath. It will also allow the soil to dry up.


Mulch is just any material that is placed on the soil with the purpose of keeping or retaining moisture or water in it. Mulches are also used to prevent the growth of weeds in the soil or more particularly, the garden.

For plants to survive, a healthy and good conditioned soil is needed. Never forget that your plants need water and nutrients to grow healthily and beautifully, and these needs can only be fulfilled by the soil.

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