Simple steps to healthy soil
Healthy soil is the foundation of any garden. Follow these steps so that your plants and vegetables can flourish.
Soil needs to be full of nutrients and minerals to create an ecosystem so plants can survive. Indicators of good-quality soil are the presence of earthworms, indigenous insects and plant roots. It should also be dark in colour and have a crumbly texture.
Tips to ensure healthy soil
- Add compost to your soil. Compost is a garden fertiliser made from vegetable material and other garden waste. Compost is great because it adds organic matter to the soil and it balances it. It’s also a good way to repurpose kitchen waste.
Make your own: Our guide to making compost
- Stop using chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides and weedkillers will quickly kill off all signs of life in your soil. You can make natural pesticides using household ingredients like soap, water, vegetable oil and essential oils. Here’s how to make your own:
- Keep it loose. Soil needs to breathe. Don’t walk across flower beds because this compacts the soil and closes air pockets.
- Add layers. Add between 5cm and 10cm of mulch – a mixture of leaves, bark, grass and sawdust – to your soil’s surface. Mulch retains moisture in the soil, which helps roots to grow well.