The Q&A Archives: SOIL

Question: We're planting a new vegetable garden, and haven't picked the site yet. How do we prepare the soil?<br>

Answer: Oh good, I get to help you choose the site! Create the garden in full sun. Breezes benefit plants, but strong winds can be damaging, so if you can, site the garden in a fairly protected location. If your soil drainage is variable, place the garden where the soil drains best. <br><br>To improve your soil's structure and to nourish your vegetable plants, work in lots of organic matter such as compost, well-rotted leaves, and/or aged livestock manure. Loosen the soil to a depth of at least one foot - two feet is better. Healthy soil is truly the foundation of healthy plants. Organic matter improves soil structure and drainage, and gently feeds plant and soil life. Before you do all that, though, have the soil tested, either with a home test like Burpees(pg 100 of the catalog) or by your county agricultural extension office (ph# 515/747-2276). This will tell you what, if any, nutrients are lacking and if the soil pH needs adjusting. Check out our Q&A database for more information on gardening topics!<br><br><br>

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