SGD Quick Tips – Know Your Soil – Successful Garden & Lifestyle Design

How to know how water retentive & nutritious your soil is.

SGD reader, Valerie, asked me how does she know about her soil. Here was my reply:

The darker the colour of the soil the more nutrient-rich it is.

To see how well-drained it is, dig a few test holes to a spade’s depth and then fill with water and see how long it holds water – if it immediately disappears then you probably have a sandy soil that dries out quickly. You will need to add plenty of organic matter to help it retain water.

If the water just sits there and doesn’t drain then it’s got a high clay content – too much clay isn’t idea so again, add lots of organic matter like manure or compost to improve it.

The soil pH doesn’t matter too much as long as there is plenty of organic matter because the plants will attract the microbes they need to make the soil more acid or alkaline.

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