soil amendment - Knowledgebase Question

schaumburg, Il
Question by mgarcha12
July 31, 2010
want to improve poor soil in my existing perennial beds. When and how ishould do it. Is fall good time?


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Answer from NGA
July 31, 2010

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You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Either fall or spring are good times to improve soil. Start by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Unless you plan to plant right away, mulch over the bare soil with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. In the spring dig the organic matter into the soil, plant, and then add a fresh layer of organic matter over the bare soil between the plants. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden. Enjoy!

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