The importance of soil preparation

Soil is more than just “dirt”. It is where your plants grow and thrive. When it comes to gardening, soil preparation is the most important factor to keeping your garden looking beautiful.  It’s easy to take soil for granted, but most of the hard work should take place before planting anything.

One of the most important, yet overlooked, requirements for a beautiful garden or landscape begins with great soil. The condition of your plants and their growth depends on the condition of the soil in which they live. One of the main reasons for plants that are not thriving is the lack of proper soil preparation before planting.

Plants are living organisms that need the right amount of water, nutrients and oxygen to survive. Yet most of us give little attention to the soil that these plants need to grow.

Proper soil preparation addresses two crucial issues. The first is the adequate supply of nutrients.  The second is to create a soil structure that allows your plants to properly absorb those nutrients.

Soil preparation is one of the most important steps to having a successful garden. It will keep you plants strong and healthy and thriving. The best garden soil is fertile, well drained, has good moisture retention, and is properly aerated.

So how do you prepare your soil for planting?

You need to start by cleaning the soil from weeds and roots.  Weeds that remain before planting continue to grow and spread, competing with the plants for critical water and nutrient resources. Till the soil (about 20 – 30cm deep) to aerate and loosen large clumps of dirt. This will ensure that the soil is properly oxygenated and has good drainage.

Most soil is lacking in essential nutrients. Therefore, an important step in the process is adding compost and fertilizers. We always add a mix of excellent quality topsoil, organic compost, fertilizer and superphosphate in the planting area before planting. In addition to improving soil structure and composition, it will supply the nutrition needed by the plants.  The growth that our clients get after planting is just amazes them. All this extra work requires more labour than just adding a few bags of topsoil to your planting holes, but it rewards our clients with plants that grow well in their new environments, are better able to withstand dry periods and live longer.