Improving Soil After A New Build

Guest post by David Limburg of Online Garden Design

With most new houses, the garden is often the last aspect of the new build that is considered. Often the soil is left in a terrible state by the construction process. Below we outline how to improve your soil after the builders have gone.

What’s Needed

Improving the quality of the soil is necessary for healthy plant growth. Making certain that the soil is of good quality will provide the necessary nutrient for roots to grow which depend on the soil quality.

Soil of very good quality is often denoted as loam; it contains sandy and clay partials in such case, the soil has enough porosity and drainage such that it can hold fertility, nutrients, and moisture in abundance.

Improving The Structure

A nice friable loamy soil is achieved through two main functions:

  • Good, thorough aeration of the compacted soil.
  • Addition of LOADS of organic matter such as compost.

Organic matter will not only improve the soil structure, but it will also enable the soil to retain more moisture and nutrients and provide an excellent medium for plants roots to thrive.

Testing The Soil Quality

Testing the soil is to determine the pH level and nutrient content, factors essential for good quality soil. Too much or too little nutrient, such as phosphorous or potassium, is detrimental to plants. The correct quantity is necessary for best plant growth.

The pH offers an indication of the concentration of nutrient in the soil and has values from 1 (most acid) to 14 (most alkaline).

Test strips

Testing the soil to determine whether it is perfect for the type of plants that you want to be growing in your garden is very simple by the use of test strips.

Generally vegetables and ornamental prefer soil that is little acidic with a pH of 6 or 7.

Soil that does not have the correct pH prevents plants from acquiring the necessary nutrient, even if they are present in the soil in high amount. Low pH may also increase the solubility of certain minerals to toxic levels like magnesium.

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