Organic amendments will help correct soil deficiencies in a new garden plot.
In many new housing developments the topsoil has been scraped away and sold, or heavy equipment has compacted the soil. You can help correct your soil's deficiencies by adding soil amendments such as compost, manure, peat moss and other organic material. Inorganic amendments – such as sand, phosphorus or gypsum – may also be necessary. Broadcast amendments over the soil to a depth of 2" to 3".
Your soil may also benefit from the addition of a slow-release fertilizer. Greensand, a popular amendment, contains potassium, iron and other nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth. Gypsum supplies calcium and is said to loosen clay soils.
Once you've broadcast the amendments over the soil, use a rake to distribute them evenly. Use a rototiller or cultivating fork to incorporate them. Dig into the soil as deeply as possible: at least 12" to 18".
Never dig or till wet soil – you could destroy its structure. Hold a ball of soil in your hand and compact it. If it crumbles easily, you can cultivate the soil. If the ball stays compacted, it's too damp, and you should wait another day or two.
Once you've incorporated the amendments, you're ready to plant.
Working With Reclaimed Building Materials
Learn how to refurbish old materials for use in future projects.
Simple Tips for Saving Energy
These ideas for conserving energy throughout your home will help you cut back on costly heating bills.
How to Inspect Your Home's Interior
Home maintenance can prevent problems before they begin -- learn what you should regularly check for signs of potenial issues.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
A few simple changes can save you big money. Check out our tips for energy proofing your home.
Blog Cabin 2009: Interior Construction
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the interior construction of Blog Cabin 2009.
Organic Plant Health Care
Learn how to add some compost and compost tea to organic plants instead of fertilizer.
All About Green Paints and Finishes
Green paint, or eco-friendly paint, is becoming a popular option for home decorating because it doesn't contain harmful VOCs. Check out the different types of natural paint to help you choose the best one.
Eco Flooring Guide
The pros and the cons of the most popular flooring materials on the market
Remodeling Your Kitchen With Salvaged Items
If you're remodeling your kitchen, consider using salvaged items to add character, go green and trim your budget. You can keep pieces of your old kitchen, or you can scoop up bargains at estate sales, salvage shops or online.
Get rid of chemical-based cleaning products, learn how to make all-natural, inexpensive cleaning solutions using stuff from your pantry and items you already have around the house.
We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.More DIY Social
See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.
- Spring Home Maintenance Guide
- Spring Colors for the Garden
- Keeping Lawn and Garden Tools in Shape
- Flowering Bulbs Planted in Spring
- Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables