Soil that is easy to dig, holds moisture and allows the circulation of water and air is what every garden needs. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate to have this kind of soil, known as loam. You might have sandy soil that is easy to dig, but does not hold moisture well. Or your soil might be clay, hard to dig and saturated with water. With time and effort, you can improve the texture and condition of your soil.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sod rake
- Organic mulch
Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch over your garden with a rake. Use grass clippings, dried leaves, dried manure, straw or compost.
Sprinkle fertiliser over the mulch, according to the package directions.
Dig the shovel 6 to 8 inches deep into the soil. Lift out a shovelful of soil with the mulch on top, then flip the shovel over as you deposit it back into the garden. The mulch is now below the soil. Continue this process throughout the whole garden to mix the mulch and fertiliser into the soil.
Spread the mixed soil using the sod rake. Pound any clumps of soil to break them up.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3 at least one more time. If your soil is clay-like or very sandy, you may have to repeat the process several more times to thoroughly work the mulch and fertiliser into the soil.
Tips and warnings
- Improving soil takes a lot of time and effort. You will not have wonderful soil immediately after working in the mulch. Time will break down the mulch, and each year you will find that the soil becomes easier to work and yield the desired, healthy garden.
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