How to Improve Soil for Gardening

By: Sr vini

Adding organic fertilizers and organic compost to your garden soil ensures that it gets the necessary nutrients to become rich soil. Most gardeners growing organic vegetables will tell you that if you do this 2-3 times a year, it will greatly improve your vegetable garden soil.
Remember that doing this the organic way ensures that no human-made chemicals are being put back into your soil.
Moreover, organic compost is something every organic gardener should involve with. It is a fairly simple concept, and you can make it from kitchen waste, leaves, and other organic waste that you would end up sending to the landfill.
How to Improve Soil for Gardening

Although the principle is the same, most everyone has their own particular style. You can choose to do it in a pit out behind the barn. Or in an ornate bin at the back of your garden.
It can be a prefabricated unit that you have purchased at a local gardening supply store or made out of old cinder blocks, bricks, or wood that you may already have lying around.
There is no right or wrong choice; it is only a matter of personal preference and budget. But the only way you are going to get the benefit is if you actually do it.

So, how to make rich soil for your garden?

Well, there are two different ways to do that: organic fertilizer and organic compost.

Organic fertilizer:

Types of fertilizer: These divided into two basic types.
Organic Animal Fertilizer:
Organic animal fertilizer is more commonly known as manure.
Most commonly, you will find that it comes from cows, horses, and chickens. You can also include bats and rabbits in this list of animals.
This manure should have time to decompose and age before mixing it in thoroughly with your soil. If you are doing this yourself, the manure must fully be decomposed to ensure the removal of harmful bacteria.
Once your fertilizer is fully decomposed, you can now mix this in with your soil. It will depend on what form your fertilizer is in as to how you will do this.
In general, if it is in either liquid or solid form, you should ensure that it is mixed in well with your soil. It is also a good idea to plan your planting for at least 3-4 weeks after applying your fertilizer. 
Not only will this allow the fertilizer to work its magic within the soil, but it will remove any bad smells from the manure that would otherwise make your planting an unpleasant task.
Organic Plant Fertilizer:
Referred to in most gardening circles as “Green Manure,” Plant-based fertilizer comes from several sources.
Most common comes from seaweed and kelp. This type of fertilizer is excellent for growing organic vegetables as seaweed. These have been shown to contain nutrients such as manganese, copper, and zinc. 
These are closely associated with your products’ good growth and provide the soil with the much-needed nutrients that an organic gardener looks for.
Many organic gardeners now use worm castings to fertilize their soil. You can buy this in your local gardening store, but many people now produce their own.

How to make the best organic fertilizer at home?

To do this, you need to ensure you have the correct worms that you can get once again from the garden store. A covered container and damp vegetable matter or old newspaper. This is a great and consistent way to get free fertilizer for your garden all year round and costs very little.
There is another “Green Manure” fertilizer you can use if you can find the right plants. Typically this is a crop such as a soya which is grown and then harvested and mixed with the soil so that the plant actually decomposes in the soil. 
This works very well as the decomposing plant matter released nutrients as it breaks down into your soil.
A word of caution!
Ensuring that you keep your organic garden soil well fertilized at least twice a year will ensure your crop is gaining its maximum growing potential. 
It is relatively cheap to do, and the small costs involved will ensure you’re eating a good crop of organic vegetables though-out the year.
What is Organic Compost?
It is the end result of organic material that aerobic bacteria have decomposed. Compost also breaks down waste into a form that is readily available for your plants. It is a natural fertilizer, soil conditioner, and great source of humus.
Organic compost also helps to repopulate the soil with diverse species of microorganisms vital for plant growth and reproduction. It is also another word for “organic matter.”
Every organic gardening book worth its salt will at some point state that you are going to need to add it regularly. The reason why is because your plants are using it up! 
In order to build and maintain the optimum health of the soil, you are going to have to add some kind of organic matter on a regular basis.
What exactly Organic Matter is!!
The first time most people hear those words is after getting the results of their soil test and wonder how they will raise a low organic matter level.
No matter what the crop is that you are growing, from azaleas to zucchini, it is going to deplete the soil of nutrients, minerals, and trace elements. 
These must be replaced, or the soil will deteriorate until it is dead and lifeless. This is where the term “Farmed-Out” originated.
With a little thought and a plan, you can easily make your own. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of well-intentioned people throw in the towel.
How to make organic compost?
Just started. At first, you may have to buy a retail product to get the ball rolling. But in time, you will have learned to make your own with what you would normally throw in the trash.
A word of caution!
Beware of amending your soil with lifeless “soil mixes.” These are typically made with waste materials (i.e., ground-up pallets) and toxic chemicals!
Unless you like the thought of that, stay away from the stuff being sold in bulk stores. No one knows exactly what’s in the bag, where it came from, or even when it was packaged.
That is why it is so cheap! You get what you pay for, especially accurate in this case.
I suggest calling your local nursery and asking what they carry along the lines of compost.
Locally made amendments are always going to be cheaper because of freight costs and typically have higher populations of micro-organisms because they are fresher. If you call first, you will save time and aggravation.

How to make Compost soil for your garden?

There are a few things to bear in mind when starting out. The main thing is aeration. The process accomplish by aerobic microorganisms that break down organic materials and cause decomposition. (aerobic – meaning that they need air to survive.)
It is generally recommended to turn your pile once a week or so using a shovel or pitchfork. This helps keep the pile supplied with oxygen so that the process remains active and so the pile from going rancid.
Your pile needs to keep moist but not soaked!
When you first put your pile together, you will have to water it with a hose or watering can because it is likely to be on the dry side. The keyword here is “moist,” not waterlogged.
The other thing you need to be aware of is that your pile needs to have both green waste (high in nitrogen) and brown waste (high in carbon).
Some common examples of green waste are fresh-cut grass clippings and weeds, coffee grounds, and kitchen scraps such as potato peelings.
Examples of brown waste include shredded newspaper or cardboard, sawdust, and wood chips or shavings. It is as simple as that.

Remember the motto for organic gardening “It is a process – Not an event”

The same applies to your pile. It will take several months for your pile to break down to a uniform consistency to be ready to mix with your soil.
After becoming familiar with how your pile works, you may very well be able to get two harvests. One that you add to your soil in the Spring and another that you can add in the Fall after harvest.
Once you see how well your organic garden responds, you will never be without it again.

What are the key factors for efficient composting?

The most common way to compost for the garden is to create a compost pile. Several factors are important in generating quality compost.
Aeration: Turn your compost pile several times a month to provide oxygen and speed up the decomposition process.
Moisture: Good compost results from the efficient breakdown of matter, which requires adequate water. Make sure to keep your compost pile moist.
Size of waste particles: Smaller pieces will decompose faster. Chop up bulky brush or sticks by hand or with a shredder.
Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio: Waste with high carbon content (straw, sawdust) decomposes slowly unless you add nitrogen fertilizer. Leaves and grass contain high nitrogen levels, as do poultry litter, manure, and blood meal. Read up on the subject, and aim for a balance.

What if I don’t have enough space!

If you do not have space to put a compost pile, can’t buy any locally, or just don’t have the time to wait, online shopping websites may be your best alternative.
Online compost are available in a 5-gallon bucket and be ready for your soil in just a few weeks. It is the primary method that I now use to produce organic matter quantities for my raised beds and containers.

What can you use as the materials for garden composting?

Many organic materials are excellent for composting. Leaves, grass cuttings, straw, plants like aloe vera, and plant trimmings that are primarily non-woody can all be used. 
If you got grass that’s been cut from your lawn, mix it with a variety of other wastes because grass tends to compact and reduce airflow.
When searching for compost material, don’t just look in your yard. Your kitchen probably contains a fine supply of meat and vegetable scraps, bones, coffee grounds, and eggshells, all of which can be used in the compost pile. 
You can also add a newspaper with black print. However, because it contains very little nitrogen to enhance decomposition, keep newspaper to less than 10 percent of the weight of the pile.
Certain waste products could create a health hazard or simply a problem for those living nearby. Feces from humans or pets (such as cats and dogs) can breed and transmit disease. 
While meat, bones, grease, dairy products, and whole eggs can be used, be aware they may attract rodents and other pests to the compost pile. Minimize the use of plants that treated with herbicides and pesticides.

Bottom Line!!

This is how you can make rich soil for your garden. Always keep in mind that you have two different options to do so. First, organic fertilizer, Second, organic compost. 
We have already provided you the best and detailed information regarding both of these. You can simply follow the instruction that given for making organic fertilizer and organic compost.
Apart from this, it is always recommended that you take the help of other gardeners, especially those using the two. This will help you understand what you have to do to make rich soil and help you learn new things. 
If you can not find such a person, then you can comment your queries in the given below section. We will always help you to solve your query as our main goal is to make your garden beautiful and enrich the mother earth’s soil. 
So, without wasting your time more, let’s start gardening organically. Keep doing your best to make rich soil and keep making the earth beautiful.