Best ways to prepare your soil for seeds
With springtime in full flow and the summer not far away, it is time to prepare your garden for the growing season. Here we discuss a few things you should know to best prepare your soils for seeds and plants.
Know Your Soil Type
To understand the best soil preparation method for your garden, you should find out whether you have a soil made of mostly clay, silt or sand.
A mostly clay soil will have lots of nutrients and retain moisture well, but also drain poorly. Sandy soil will drain very well but lack in an abundance of nutrients. Silt soil is somewhere in between these two with more nutrients than sand but less than clay soil, and better drainage than clay but not as good as sand soil.
Most topsoil will be a combination of all three types, with one often dominating to give the soil its primary characteristic. You can tell the difference between clay soil and sand soil quite easily by grabbing a handful of damp soil and squeezing it. The grittier it is, the sandier it is. The jar test can also give you a more accurate reading of your soil composition.
If you want to get really knowledgeable about your soil, you can try to discover the soil’s pH and macronutrient content as well as the mineral levels. You will have to pay for a special test but they are not prohibitively expensive (usually somewhere around £30/40 for a basic metals screening and around £150 for a full test). Full tests will give you insight into the soil’s soil pH content as well as the levels of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and sometimes nitrogen. This will be mostly useful if you have very specific or rare plants you want to grow
A full test is probably unnecessary for your average, ordinary gardener, unless you fear the soil has been contaminated.
Improve Your Soil Quality
You can improve the quality of your soil in a couple of easy ways. Firstly you can add a new layer of quality topsoil, which might be necessary anyway of the existing layer of topsoil is thin. Simply order a ton of topsoil in bulk to cover all the areas you need.
A second soil management method is to mix in some compost with the existing topsoil. If you are planning on growing vegetables which require a lot more nutrients than other plants, then you can also try adding a new layer of fresh topsoil and mixing in some nutrient-rich compost along with it.
Laying Bark Mulch
By placing a layer of bark chippings over the soil and around the plants you are growing, you can prevent weeds from sprouting while helping the soil retain moisture. This is especially useful for sandy soil which can dry out easily in the hot summer months. The mulch will also degrade over time and begin adding more and more nutrients into the soil it merges with.
If you are growing from seed, then it is wise to wait until the seeds have sprouted before placing a layer of bark mulch.
If you require any seeds like grass seeds or a ton of topsoil for soil preparation purposes, then contact Springbridge via our website or call today on 0845 370 1921 for more information.