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How to Prepare Your Soil for a Vegetable Garden

How to Prepare the Soil for a Vegetable Garden

Want to have a great garden? Let’s face it, not only will your own garden provide you with fresh organic vegetables, but will also save you a lot of money in the long run. Preparation of your plot for successful planting is key to growing vegetables. The process is specific and takes time, and  is necessary for a thriving garden. Here are some key points for you to follow to be a successful ‘green thumb’.

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1. There is no shortcut. It could take up to two years to prepare your soil for optimal gardening. However, you don’t have to wait two years to plant your garden. There are steps that you can take that will enable you to grow a good garden immediately.

2. Begin soil preparation by digging out the area of your vegetable garden. Create the perimeter first by digging the edge of the garden area before breaking the ground for your garden. Remove the top layer of sod with a shovel if necessary. If the area is not grassy, then just remove weeds, rocks and debris.

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3. Analyze the soil. Too much sand in the soil may make the soil dry, and too much clay may make it too wet. In order to grow a successful garden, your soil should be a good combination of earth, sand and clay. You can send a sample to your local garden center and get it analyzed.

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4. Cultivate the soil by turning it with a shovel or rototiller. Tilling the soil breaks it up and prepares it for planting. Till the soil 12-inches (30 cm) down. This will give you a decent depth to plant in. Using a rototiller will make this process faster than if you do it by hand. Continue to remove rocks and debris. 

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5. Mix some fertilizer into the soil to prepare it for growing vegetables successfully. Choose a good, humus or manure. Your garden centre can help you here. Spread the fertilizer around the area with a rake. Work the compost into the tilled ground by puncturing the cultivated soil at least 6 inches (15 cm) down with a shovel and turning the soil to break it up and mix in the fertilizer.

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6. Add topsoil. Add topsoil to the surface of your garden. This process is similar to adding compost to your garden. Good topsoil will allow you to grow your garden now while your current soil prepares itself for future planting.

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7. Allow the cultivated soil to sit for at least two days before planting. You can turn the soil daily if you wish, but the process is not necessary if you turned the soil adequately as per the above points.

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8. Two years is ideal for your best gardening. Preparation and time is necessary in order to prep your garden for the best growing. This gives it time to break down the compost and improve the soil. As said above, however, don’t let that stop you from enjoying your garden now.

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