soil? - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Question by lynn_m_foley
March 16, 2010
I am a new gardener and would love to grow organic vegetables. How should I prepare the soil?

Answer from NGA
March 16, 2010


Organic growing simply means using naturally occuring fertilizers and avoiding the use of pesticides as much as possible. You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start this spring by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the vegetable 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. Plant your veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular vegetable garden. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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