PREPARE THE BEST SOIL FOR YOUR HOME GARDEN
“Food is as healthy as the soil in which it is grown”
Good soil is an integral part of any healthy garden, it becomes even more important when we grow plants in pots on our terrace or balcony. Because our potted plants are not connected to the natural soil ecosystem and therefore require extra care and nutrients.
The ratio of sand, silt and clay particles determines the texture of our soil and affects drainage and nutrient availability, which in turn affects the growth of our plants.
Our soil can be divided into three main types:
This soil holds nutrients well but has poor drainage. Digging can be heavy when wet and hard in the summer.
It is found in the northern plains of India. It is not ideal for gardening but can be improved by adding organic matter such as kitchen manure, cow dung or well decomposed garden waste.
Organic matter can provide much needed drainage in clay soils. You can also buy compost available from any online or offline gardening store.
Sandy soil :
Sandy soil has very large particles, which prevent it from holding moisture and nutrients. Apart from a few plants (succulents and adeniums), this type of soil is unsuitable for most plants.
Sandy soil can be improved by adding organic matter such as kitchen manure, cow dung or well decomposed garden waste. Organic matter can help retain water and nutrients.
Loamy soil is great for gardening as it provides the right amount of nutrients and good drainage.
Ideal Potting Mix for Gardening:
An ideal potting mix should have good drainage, the right amount of nutrients for the plants, and enough soil aeration for root development.
It is very easy to make our ideal potting mix for your plants:
- Adding organic matter is one of the best ways to improve our soil. Well-rotted organic matter is an inexpensive and good addition to improving both clay and sandy soils. Instead of digging it up, lay it on the surface as mulch and allow earthworms to drag it into the soil. As they tunnel and feed, insects aerate the soil and improve its structure
- Minimize use of chemicals: Before trying any chemical, always consider alternatives to insecticides such as horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps etc. Pesticides kill insects, but they can also kill beneficial soil microbes and insects.
- In general, we can mix our local soil with coco-peat and compost in equal proportions to make the ideal potting mix.
You can use many products from online or offline gardening stores to help improve your gardening soil.
The Neem cake:
These help in getting rid of harmful insects and also naturally enrich the soil with NPK.
If you are not able to find local manure, here are some natural and organic alternatives like poultry manure, cow dung manure and vermin-compost etc.