Autumn is usually the most beneficial season to start working on the soil. When the gardening season starts to wind down, there are several things that can be done to improve the soil and prepare it for next spring. End-of-season soil improvement often includes adding in organic nutrients, raw organic matter, and well-rotted compost. By refreshing the soil, it should be ready for the next season’s seeds.
Add compost to the vegetable and flower beds at the end of the season. Use a fork to loosen the soil after pulling the spent crops, and mix in two or three inches of well-rotted compost. Try to add the compost to the soil when the temperature is still quite high. This is beneficial because the organic matter and nutrients are more effective at stimulating the microbes in the soil at this time.
When cleaning up the annual and perennial beds, try to add compost to any of the holes left after pulling up the spent plants. Also, to give winter protection to the established shrubs and perennials, pile a good three or four inches of compost around the base of the plants.
Raw Organic Matter
In addition to adding the finished compost to the vegetable beds, introduce a raw organic material direct to the soil. A preferred choice for including an organic matter is shredded leaves. Use a leaf shredder or mower on the leaves before applying to the garden to speed up the decomposing process. Also, it can help to include a nitrogen-rich manure or fertilizer to the soil to prevent the leaves using up the natural nitrogen in the soil.
Organic Soil Amendments
Organic fertilizers are slow acting and need several months for the beneficial nutrients to break down and enter the soil. For this reason, it is usually best to apply them in the autumn to give enough time to benefit next season’s plants. Preferred soil amendments include bone meal, rock phosphate, greensand, or kelp meal. Any of the organic soil amendments can easily be mixed into the soil at the same time as applying the compost, manure, and shredded leaves.
Autumn is also a great time to test the soil quality. Use a simple at home pH soil testing kit. Soil quality is best lowered or raised over a period of three to six months. Add lime to the soil that needs a higher pH level, while elemental sulfur, peat moss, or pine needles are great for the soil that is high in alkaline.
Contact a reliable gardening Pakenham service to help with maintaining the attractive appearance of the outside space.