Soil 101

As you can imagine, soil is a BIG deal when it comes to gardening. Soil is the foundation to your garden and is the nutrients or “food” for your plants. Having a good soil recipe is really important for the success of your garden. First off, what you do not want with your soil is what we call “Compacted soil.” Compacted soil is going to be crumbly, dry, and isn’t going to allow your plants to grow successfully. The only things that are going to thrive in compacted soil are weeds, and that is NOT what we want for our gardens. 

You also don’t want your soil too dry or too wet. To avoid compacted soil and soggy gardens, we have broken it down to a basic soil recipe that works exceptionally well. 

50-60% top soil, it should be darker, not sticky or sandy.

- 30% compost

- 10% potting soil, worms, leaves, etc.

All of these “ingredients” will help your soil have equal distribution of water and nutrients, while also having a healthy level of water retention. You are going to be looking for what is called “Loamy soil.” Loamy soil is able to hold shape but also break apart enough for roots to be able to spread out and grow strong. Strong roots will give you a strong and healthy plant that lasts through the season! Good, loamy soil needs to have healthy drainage while also having the ability to have great water retention. 

The nutrients in your soil are also going to influence how well your garden thrives. Having nutrient-dense soil is the fuel for the health of your plants. Compost is going to allow your soil to be fed with bountiful nutrients and can be done from the comfort of your home! We have written an entire blog on composting that you can check out HERE. In a nutshell, composting allows you to take some of your waste from the kitchen, and put it back into your garden to feed your vegetables.. Pretty cool right? 

So what happens when you have nutrient-rich soil? Sometimes mushrooms will appear in your veggie gardens. Mushrooms can be a bit scary if you are new to gardening, but do not fear! Mushrooms can be a sign that your soil is healthy and is great for thriving veggies. Mushrooms require a pretty moist and humid climate in order to grow, so it’s important to remember that if you are seeing it happen in your garden bed. If mushrooms are growing, it could be because of a rainy few days or perhaps because you are over watering your garden. To make sure that your soil is getting enough sun and water, we recommend this meter HERE. 

All of this information can be overwhelming if you are new to gardening. However, through experience and tending to your plants, you will learn how to care for your soil and what it needs to be able to let your plants thrive.

 We hope these tips will help you on your growing journey and if you have any questions, you can always contact us at from Monday- Friday at 9am-5pm (PST) and our team will reach out to help!