Test Garden Soils Before You Plant

While you may be able to get good #gardening results by simply tilling and #planting, it’s a good idea to perform a basic #soil test to ensure your #garden has the nutrients necessary for #flowers and #vegetables to grow to their fullest potential, Homesteading Family says. Soils need to hold carbon (humus), oxygen, water and minerals to provide a quality medium for plant growth, as well as offer a pH in the 6.5-7 range. To improve the quality of your soil quickly, invest in a quality compost — or make your own by giving raked leaves, lawn clippings and other organic materials the opportunity to break down in a bin or drum. #GardeningTips

Prepare Your Soil for Spring Planting

The second step in getting your garden ready for the growing season is to prepare the soil. Wait until your soil is dry, then till the garden areas 8 to 12 inches deep, removing rocks and other debris; mix in organic matter such as compost or manure to nourish it. Many kitchen by-products can help nourish your garden, too, says Beekman 1802. Coffee grounds, for example, are full of nitrogen, which in aids plant growth, and eggshells can prevent root rot. Leftover cooking water (at room temperature, of course) adds nutrients, and a spritz of chamomile tea will ward off funguses produced by moist spring weather.