If you’re looking for ideas for where to start in your garden then my suggestion is to start at the ground and work up!
“Unearth the Dirt” and let’s take a look at the soil in your garden.
With gloves on move back the mulch, gently dig about 10cm into the soil and grab a scoop or handful of dirt.
Have a look, feel and smell (if you’re up for it).
Plants grow best in light brown to dark soil that’s slightly damp and loose.
Also you’ll hopefully see some earthworms and other creatures…that’s a good sign of healthy soil!
If you’re unsure of the health of your garden soil take a photo and post in our Facebook Club HERE.
Get to know the soil type.
The three main categories are sand, clay and loam. Ideally, plants are healthiest when grown in loam, which is a balanced combination with sand, silt, clay and other fine particles. It’s good to know the type of soil you have in your gardens to then determine what ingredients (organic matter) and nutrients to add before your start planting.
Have a listen to my podcast episode ‘Let’s Talk Dirt’ to find out the simple methods to identify soil types.
Two simple methods are by rolling damp dirt in your hands to feel the particles or by placing a few tablespoons of dirt into a large glass jar and adding water. When the particles settle in the jar you can clearly see what’s in the soil!
Once you’ve unearthed the soil type next we’ll discover ways to build healthy soil that’s full of life and grows healthy gardens.
Healthy soil is alive!
It’s full of organisms that feed off organic ingredients and produce food for plants. The more these organisms have to eat, the more ‘food’ is available for plants. This encourages strong plant growth and healthier food for us to enjoy. (basically that’s how it works!) Read my article on the life in soil..
Here’s 5 organic ingredients to feed the soil…
- COMPOST is one of the easiest ingredients to add to the soil and one of the most beneficial for increasing soil health, plus it’s super easy to make in your garden! Grab expert tips for composting HERE!
- ROTTED/AGED MANURE is another great ingredient to boost the dirt! Grab some horse, sheep, cow, chook, or manure of choice next time you see a few bags for sale on the side of a road.
- CHOP & DROP is a method I learnt when studying Permaculture Design. This is a fantastic way to add loads of organic matter to your garden, plus it’s FREE! This method simply means to chop up green garden foliage, drop it onto the soil and cover with a few other ingredients on this list…easy!
- BLOOD & BONE, ROCK MINERALS AND ORGANIC FERTILISER are all perfect for improving nutrient and mineral deficiencies in soil and feeding plants long term. Blood & Bone also helps to break down food scraps and other items in the compost and chopped up foliage added to soil.
- ORGANIC LIQUID FERTILISER provides nutrients to plants almost instantly as it’s in a soluble form and easily absorbed by the roots and foliage of plants. Purchase organic liquid fertiliser or DIY with a worm farm. Find out the difference between composting and worm farms HERE.
A few tips when applying these products to your garden…
- Gently loosen the soil with a garden fork and apply a deep watering to soil before products are added.
- Limit digging soil, especially when soil is in a fragile condition as soil can be further damaged with excess digging and turning. Use a garden fork to aerate the soil but no deep digging or turning.
- Apply a deep soaking of water once the above ingredients are added. This helps to start the decomposing process and retail moisture in soil.
- Cover all ingredients with approx. 3cm layer of organic mulch. This will help the organisms process the ingredients and prevent them from drying out. Try sugar cane, hay, straw, pea straw, lucerne, brown lawn clippings or composted wood chips.
These tips are from my article ‘5 Easy Ways to Feed Your Garden and Grow More Food‘. Find more information in the article HERE.
Here’s a few extra tips for creating a healthy, thriving garden to support strong plant growth.
#1 - follow organic gardening methods! Organic gardening is applying general gardening methods, but without the use of chemicals or synthetic fertilisers.
#2 - grow companion plants. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support.
#3 - healthy soil = healthy food…continue to feed the soil and your plants will grow strong and healthy!
By following these simple methods you’ll notice your plants growing healthier, stronger and produce delicious food to enjoy!
Want some extra motivation for gardening?
Looking for guidance in your garden or to help others?
Here’s three ways I can support you now!
- In my FREE Program I share 5 simple ways to enhance your health and enjoy time in the garden. Boost physical and emotional wellness, learn ways to keep gardening, grow therapeutic plants and delicious healthy food. JOIN HERE
- Ask a Question in our Free Facebook Club. It’s also a great place to connect with other gardeners and share your gardening wins.
- Learn Online. Join my online courses and programs to help you with success in the garden! You’ll connect, learn & grow with confidence. Plus access one-on-one support from me. Find out more here https://www.soiltosupperlearn.online/
Learn, grow and thrive…together 💚