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Vegetable Gardening Hints, March 2016
March 14, 2016

What nutrients does your garden soil need?

All vegetables will grow best when they have an ideal place to grow. This includes correct garden soil nutrients, sunlight, and the correct watering. Today we will talk about your soil.

Soil testing is an important step in determining what vegetables will grow best for you. It will also give you an indication in what is needed to improve your soil fertility and soil structure.

There are fairly inexpensive soil test kits found in most nurseries. I find these tests very subject to personal interpretation. If you are a first time gardener this can be a starting point in getting a general idea of what your soil pH and fertility is.

For a more accurate and scientific approach send a soil sample to a soil testing laboratory in your area. This will cost more money however the results will give you more accurate and detailed information on your garden soil.

Basic garden soil nutrient levels

A soil test will give you an idea of the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and other micro nutrients in your soil. The test will also give you suggestions as to what and how much is needed to improve your soil to get the best veggies from your garden. Learn more about organic soil fertilizers

Your soil pH:

This is a numerical symbol that tells how much acid or alkaline is in your soil. The pH scale range is zero (which is acidic) to 14 (which is alkaline) with 7 being neutral. Most vegetables grow best between 6 and 7, which is slightly acidic.

If soil is too acidic it will be infertile; if too alkaline the soil becomes toxic and will poison plants. Areas with lots of rainfall likely have acidic soil as rain tends to wash away calcium and magnesium as well as other nutrients. Areas with less rain are usually more alkaline. Check out what you can do to correct your soil pH

When starting a new garden or trying to improve the one you have it is important to get to know your soil and keep feeding it. Plants use up the nutrients that are there from season to season so learning more about what your soil will give you happier plants, less pests and a more abundant harvest.

Catherine recommends her new book:

How to improve your Garden Soil

Why is Soil so Important is a great new book giving simple and easy instructions on making and keeping your garden soil healthy.

Catherine's bio

Other vegetable gardening books written by Catherine Abbott, Your Vegetable Gardening Helper.

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Happy gardening!


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