To make the most of the season, it really pays to start with good quality soil that is rich in nutrients and has good drainage. The soil is a plant’s source of both food and water. It is from the soil that your lovely veg plants need to find all the water and nutrients that they need to flourish. Nitrogen, potassium, iron, magnesium and all that.
The quality of the soil is key here. Whether you’re growing in pots, raised beds or straight into the ground, what you want to strive for is a soil that is well balanced in terms of moisture retention and nutrients. If the plants are deficient in nutrients, or if they have too much or too little water, they’ll wilt and struggle or be stilted in growth. You might find your nice leafy spinach is looking a little yellow, your spuds might just not reach the size you were hoping for and so on.
So, how do you make sure your soil does the job well? First you work out what type of soil you have (check out our post on different soil types). Second, you give it a lot of TLC to improve it. This time of year is a great time to start digging over, weeding and, most importantly, adding plenty of organic matter to enrich your soil ready for a bumper crop this summer.
The organic matter does two things – it boosts the nutrient level in the soil and it helps to improve the consistency of the soil so that it retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. If you only do one garden job between now and planting time, preparing your soil is the job to do!