The Q&A Archives: Best Soil For Gardens

Question: I am starting a new garden and was told that I should rodatill store bought soil with the natural. Is this a good idea and if so, what type of soil should I buy? I am in Southwestern PA and hope to start planting in mid-May. Thanks.

Answer: Usually, it is better to add organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding and possibly a little coarse sand if your soil is very heavy. This helps improve the structure and feed the soil and will result in healthier plants. You should run some basic soil tests and use the results to determine what your soil may be lacking so that you can add any other necessary amendments and possibly adjust the pH during the preparation process or at planting time. Your county extension (774-3003) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

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