8 Steps to Successful Gardening—Step 3 Soil

The third step is to maintain healthy soil in your garden. The use of compost helps with maintaining healthy soil, but there are other things to consider:

Try to avoid walking on the soil in established gardens, because every step compacts the soil, and compaction makes it difficult for roots to grow. Create paths between rows or in beds, or place a board on the soil adjacent to areas where you work to distribute your weight more evenly over the soil.

Avoid working the soil when it’s wet. Otherwise, once it dries, you’ll wind up with big clumps of hard-packed soil. And finally, don’t overwork the soil, especially with a rototiller. Good soil isn’t powdery; it’s a mixed bag of particles of varying sizes and shapes.

Personally, I don’t use a rototiller because, in my opinion, the tines disturb the soil way too much. And I rarely turn the soil with a shovel. What I occasionally do is loosen the soil with a broadfork, which aerates the soil without disturbing its complex structure.

And now I would like to offer you a Free copy of my Gardeners Journal so that you can easily document your gardening experience and track what you do. Click on “Subscribe to Master Gardener Girls’ Gardening Blog by Email” and I will send you a copy of this file.

Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!

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