The Q&A Archives: Garden Soil

Question: How do I establish good soil composition for planting a vegetable garden?

Answer: The first step I'd recommend would be to get your soil tested. A soil test will evaluate nutrient levels and pH, both important factors in growing a good garden. Your Cooperative Extension office (ph# 201-599-6162) has information about soil test kits.

Most soils benefit from the addition of organic matter--compost or well-aged manure, for example. I like to mulch with grass clippings, leaves, anything that adds organic matter to the soil. Follow the instructions that come with your soil test results--especially about adjusting pH. A little lime can go a long way to improving an acid soil, for example. It can take a few years to notice dramatic results from these steps, but they are well worth the effort!

Good luck with your garden!

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