Soil – the Foundation of Life

Thu. Apr. 13, 2017

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Soil – the Foundation of Life

I know, I know, I’m talking about soil again!  I do, because it IS the foundation of life!  At least for everything not in the water!  ?

Soil  holds the keys to a plant’s ability to take up nutrients, water and oxygen.  Soil also acts as a filter for rainwater, cleaning it as it makes it’s way into our aquifers.   If you prepare your garden beds, you give your plants the best chance to, not only survive, but thrive.

Soil is simply amazing when you learn more about it.  This forum doesn’t give us enough time, and frankly, there’s way more to it than this lay person could possibly explain!  ?  What I do know is how essential it is and how wonderful it smells as I first start planting my Spring garden.  I know how wonderful it feels in my hands as I dig.

soil hands 2

Map of Minnesota soils

Wisconsin Soil Survey

USDA Soil Survey for the North America

Preparing your garden bed is the single most important thing you can do for your plants.  Having fluffy, nutrient rich soil that can hold your plants while allowing the roots to grow is ideal!  Take the time for a soil test (see yesterday’s post) and then build from there.

Adding organic matter every year won’t hurt but tilling every Spring and Fall will.  This breaks up your soil’s structure and CAN lead to compacted soil.  Soil has oxygen in it, air pockets if you will, that keep it fluffy.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program has 2 types of tests you can do at home to find out if your soil texture is sandy, loam or clay.  Click HERE and scroll down to the jar test and the feel test.

Soil type jar testing

For comments, questions or suggestions, please email me at teri@gardenbite.com or find Garden Bite on Facebook.  There are links at the top of the page.  Thanks!