It’s time to start prepping the soil for your raised beds and gardens. How many of you are already buying potatoes, dahlias, and herbs? Our staff has been busy fielding questions from customers and the most popular one yet is what’s important when purchasing soil and fertilizer? Where do I start? Here are some topsoil and fertilizer tips to get you started.
The gardening channel tells us:
“The composition of your soil’s organic matter is a combination of living, decaying, and dead plants and animals. Living organisms include bacteria, worms, fungi, plant roots, etc…As these elements decay, they eventually become humus—the nutrient-rich matter that nourishes the soil.”
Remember that soils with poor drainage can leave the area saturated. Make sure where you’re planting and adding soil is in a good location! Some folks will also check the pH of their soil so consider investing in a pH ‘test’ kit as some plants require certain ranges to grow well.
We’ve compiled a list of the top tips for getting started:
Three topsoil and fertilizer tips for anyone with a green thumb this spring!
1. Whether you’re digging in the soil or working in an existing raised bed there are some tricks on prep!
- Cut existing grass at your mower’s lowest setting.
- To smother roots, spread a layer of newspaper about 12 sheets thick. You can use cardboard or newspapers to help keep grass and weeds from growing back. The staff will give you some if you need it!
- Spread eight to twelve inches of organic matter (well-rotted manure, compost or a mix of compost and shredded leaves) over the layers of newspaper. Or use triple mix — a mixture of loam, manure, and peat — Rake level. Start tilling it all in!
Add Kellogg Garden Organics Organic Soil or G&B Organics to the bed!
2. What about fertilizer? Which do you use? Will fertilizer improve my garden soil?
We use slow-release fertilizers. They are a safe and easy way to feed your plants. “The slow release coating means the nutrients are broken down over time so the plant won’t get burned. This type of fertilizer works because the granules only break down with water and heat. As you water and as your garden soil warms up, your garden plants grow faster, just in time to absorb the fertilizer as it’s released into the soil.”
As far as fertilizers we recommend, ask our staff about Kellogg Garden Organics.
3. Timing is everything, so get the timing right!
Avoid prepping soil when it’s too wet! if you clump it together in your hands and moisture pours out it’s too wet. Aim to work when there is some moisture in the soil but it still crumbles in your hand.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ll have some idea days for prep but you may have to wait until some of the moisture drys out!
We carry a number of soil products including Kellogg Garden also has a blog that’s worth checking out!
Please ask our staff if you have any questions about how to prep a raised bed as our garden center is open and we’d love to have you over! You can also check out our garden page.