Reviving Tired Soil to Create a Veggie Patch
More and more Australians are getting into the idea of growing their own food and having a range of fresh foods to add to their meals. However, in order to start a veggie patch you need to have a space with fertile soils that can support plant growth. That can be a challenge to find in some gardens, particularly if they've been neglected over the years. Here are some tips to help you revive tired soils.
Add some air
If the soil has been left dormant and compacted, it can often be very hard for plants to germinate and send out seeds. This is especially common if you live somewhere that has a clay based soil. The first step with a compacted soil is to physically lift and turn the soil using a shovel or small hoe. This allows you to get fresh soil to the surface and loosen the overall soil so that plants can grow in the area.
Up the nutrient level
If the area has been used to grow certain nutrient hogging plants over time, including flowers, it may be looking a little tired. It can be a good idea to add that back in before you try to grow plants. One way to do this is to grow a crop that tends to add back nitrogen, such as lupins. You can also try adding some healthier soil and mixing it through—if you don't have enough soil in the garden it is easy to order a trailer load of soil from a soil supplier.
Contain the water
In order to grow veggies you'll need to water them regularly, but you want to make sure that the water goes into the roots of the veggies and nowhere else. A light covering of mulch helps to prevent evaporation and also stops weeds from growing, which can end up hogging both the water and nutrients from your vegetables and adds to the overall maintenance requirements of the vegetable patch. You can purchase mulch from a soil supplier and it is easier to spread around the base of the vegetable seedlings.
Before you buy your seedlings and start planting your vegetable patch it is a good idea to spend some time prepare the soil and giving your plants the best chance of success. Buying healthy soil and mulch from a soil supplier can be a great way to work around chronic poor soil conditions.