How to prepare your soil for spring
Most people are familiar with the concept of spring cleaning. It is a way to freshen up your home and give it new life so you can enjoy it over the summer months. Most people however don’t realise that giving their garden a spring clean is the best way to save time and effort down the track. Summer can be an especially chaotic month with family gatherings, school holidays and that Christmas shopping rush, so the last thing anyone wants to be doing is yard work. Like most great recipes, gardens are nothing without a great base, which is why now is the time to start preparing your soil for spring growth and the summer heat by adding back in some of those important nutrients.
Read on to find out how to prepare your soil this spring:
Time to test: Checking your soil PH
The great thing about spring is that it is a transitional season; meaning you can usually identify any plants struggling with the temperature change early on and fix any problems before the harsh summer sun causes any damage. To get a head start, use a PH testing kit to gather data on your garden beds, lawn soil, potting, soil and any other areas of your yard that you want to look gorgeous and green in summer. Depending on what sort of plants you are growing, you might need to adjust this PH for optimum growing conditions. This PH can vary across different sections of your yard to align with your plants’ needs.
Clear out old plant matter; but don’t disturb the soil ecosystem
While the weather is still that little bit cooler, it is a great time to get rid of any rubbish or plant matter from your yard. This is so any fertilisers and mulch can be laid down on a clean and clear soil surface. a good order to clear out you rubbish is as follows: Firstly, load any old furniture, wood, branches and rubbish into a skip or trailer and drop those off to the tip or a recycling plant. Then go through your yard and rid your garden of any dead annuals, sticks, leaves, unwanted or dying plants, and any pesky weeds. All this organic matter can be disposed of in your green waste bin or can be added to your compost pile to break down. This same matter, once matured, can go full circle, and be added back into your garden when ready.
While doing this, it is important not to overly disturb the soil ecosystem as throughout the winter your plants have already been helping get your soil microbes ready to thrive.
Compost and Manure
Once you have tested your soil PH, you will have a better idea of what you need to add to it to make it fertile. For poor clay-based soils a top layer of compost might improve your soils texture, nutrients, and water retention. If this first step does not work, you might need to use a bit of gypsum to break your soil up further. Manure is also great for improving your soil structure and soil fertility so your soil will continue feed your plants well into the summer months. It is a good idea to add your organic matter early in spring to improve your soil ecosystem and then fertilise at the end of spring to give your plants that extra boost.
Get it ready for the warmer months with mulch
When you get to a stage where your growing media is fertile, has the correct PH, and you’re seeing some improvement in your plant growth it is time to start thinking about how you will keep the moisture in during the summer months. As it gets warmer your soil microbes really start to get working and require moisture to help fuel their important processes. The problem with summer is that sometimes the moisture from your soil evaporates before reaching your plant and if not replenished it can stop some of the microbes in their tracks. To help retain this moisture, mulching before summer is a must. Mulching retains the moisture in your soil, provides your soil with organic matter and protects it from the elements and disease.
If soil had a resume then this would be it! But if you’re still wanting more than we totally understand. That’s what our product info page is for! Perhaps you are hanging out to know what soil to use for your next garden project? Keep tabs on our how to page to find helpful blog posts like this and more. And if there’s anything else, remember you can contact the expert team at Rock n Soil any time!