Vegetable Garden Soil
Build it with Organic Compost

Asparagus is ready to plant in this raisedgarden bed.

Great vegetable garden soil ...

                                             ... The first commandment of organic vegetable gardening.

Old pros that have worked the earth for years...

...  know great vegetable growing soil does not happen over night.

While working the soil ... no dig gardening

                                   ... raised bed gardening

                                   ... sheet or lasagne gardening

                                   ... double digging

          Which ever organic vegetable gardening  method used ...  

          ... these gardeners feed the garden soil.

This is how to grow vegetables the organic way

Garden worms and other creatures of of the under world ... organic matter to garden compost.

Feeding the vegetable garden soil ...  

... is not really feeding the soil ...

... Organic compost added to the garden earth ...
... feeds the zillions of under ground organisims ...

... Who in turn manufacture the food that feeds the earth ... 

... these are living factories !

Compost bin

     Great Vegetable Garden Soil needs Organic Compost

Just starting a vegetable garden ? ... Organic vegetable gardening, the way to grow.

     Few folks have the luxury of choosing a home for it's garden site alone ...

     ... so where to start ??

     Choose the best backyard garden site ... or front yard.

     Assess the soil condition

     Perfect ... go for it !  ... Probably not, so ... fix it.

     Challenged garden soil ? ... Develop multiple season vegetable garden plans ...

    ... A one year plan is usually unrealistic ...

    ... But do not waste time ... start growing vegetables in year one.

Soil testing ... Our gardener says to keep it simple.

Look ... Listen ... Feel

Eyeball the vegetable garden earth ... Touch it ... Ask the gardener next door

... does it drain well or too well ?

... Is clay, hardpan or gravel the mainstay of the garden site ?

... What is the history of this backyard garden ?  The gardener next door will know, ask her.

Squeeze a handful by hand ... does it crumble nicely?

... create a glob of muck?

... or sift through your hand ?

Asparagus raised bed beginning

The earth worm test !

Yes, if you have worms ... lots of garden worms ... you are away to the races !

Earth worms ... The Tillers of the Earth ...

... These guys work , breaking up the soil for the gardener.

Seeing lots of these helpers means great vegetable garden soil.

Earth worms

A home soil ph testing kit will indicate the acidity or alkalinity ...

... as a home soil test kit will indicate nutritional deficiencies ...

... but these will not specify the amount of soil amendment needed.

An agricultural lab test will indicate the ph as well as nutrients and

    soil amendments needed ... as well as how much.

Where to have this testing done ?

Ask the local gardening supply shop. These folks will know about soil testing.

Some Problem Vegetable Garden Soil and Remedies.

Building the soil with nitrogen fixing broad beans


1) Poor drainage ...

                 ... High water table and ground water

                 ... clay or hardpan soil

                 ... presence of a natural spring
           Remedies ... our gardener says raised bed gardening is the solution

                        jack up the bed level using a quality soil mix blended for growing vegetables.
                    ... break up the hardpan and clay

                   ...  digging with the addition organic compost

                    ...  plant cover crops whose roots reach down breaking up the soil and

                         draw nutrients upward

                    ... an extensive drainage system

                    ... lily pads and koi ?

Nice straight carrots growing in a raised garden bed

2) Too much drainage

                ... sandy soil, gravel and stones

                ... nutrients leach away

          Remedy    ... raised garden beds

                    ... build up soil with lots of organic compost
                    ... addition of a commercial  garden soil mix

                    ... mulching

mixing composted mushroom manure with garden soil

3) Contaminated soil

 ... inheriting a backyard garden site where past gardening practices included

     use of  chemicals, non organic fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides.

Remedies  ... raised bed gardening

... lots of organic compost to the existing earth

... good organic vegetable gardening practices will reduce the contamination over time.

Pole beans and cabbage in our raised bed

4) Sloped or uneven garden surfaces causing

   to much drainage or soil erosion

          Remedies   ... terrace the slopes with contained raised garden beds

                     ... cultivate and plant at right angles to the slope

                     ... lay garden mulch or plant cover crops between the rows and raised beds

5) Absence of topsoil
                    Did the property developer remove it all ?

          Remedies  ... Replace with a commercial soil mix

                     ... raised vegetable garden beds

                     ... organic compost and garden mulch

                     ... cover crops and green manure.

The common thread here for problem vegetable garden soil is ...

 ... Organic compost ... and Organic vegetable gardening practices.

If the gardener has a good reason or desire raised garden beds work great.

Raised Bed Gardening is our gardener's solution for a high water table and poor garden soil.

We vegetables keep our toes dry growing in ...

... a raised garden plot, no sides containing the earth

... boxed raised garden beds

... container vegetable gardening

                     Yes, garden containers are small raised beds with sides and a bottom.

He has control over the makeup or our vegetable garden soil.

We vegetables like this style of organic vegetable gardening.

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More articles about Growing Vegetables that may be of interest.

Organic Vegetable Gardening

Growing Vegetables from Seed

When to Plant Vegetables

Organic Compost

Garden Mulch

Raised Garden Beds

Types of soil

Crop Rotation

Of All Garden Fertilizer Organic is Best

Vegetable Garden Fertilizer

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