If you have been considering beginning an organic garden, then you have probably been researching what is the best soil for organic gardening. One of the first things that you will notice is that there are many different opinions on what is the best soil for organic gardening. It is certainly a science that cannot be disproved, however it is easy to loose your way when reading through many of the different organic garden guides. The truth of the matter is that there are some basics that are essential when planting anything, but many of these fundamentals are left out because of lack of information or simply lack of time to research and learn. There are some things that do exist in regards to the best soil for organic gardening, but you really need to pay attention to them.
Organic gardening is simply the art of growing anything that you plant in either a garden or yard without the usage of any synthetic or pesticides. This art can be practiced in conjunction with traditional farming techniques or completely on its own. Many people are starting to grow organic gardens as a means of practicing sustainable agriculture, and they are doing so because they know full well how detrimental it is to the environment to use pesticides and other chemicals in order to grow crops that will be consumed by humans and other living creatures. An increase of natural organic matter in the soil greatly reduces soil erosion over just a short period of time, and this fact alone reduces the amount of water that is used for irrigation.
A soil that is rich in nutrients will be the healthiest and most productive for your plants. A soil that is sandy or that has a medium texture can often times be lacking in nutrients, and this can cause a problem because you may find that your plants take much longer to mature than normal. When growing plants that are accustomed to sandy soils, an increase of organic matter in the soil will help these plants develop quicker.
A soil that is moist but not wet is often an ideal soil for organic gardeners. This means that it has a medium to high clay content, although it does not necessarily need to be clay like the Earths crust. Clay soils are very sticky and can often times hold mud, sand, and plant debris much more readily. Good examples of this type of soil would be the beach sand that is available at almost all golf courses. On the other hand, clay soils that are too dry can also hold a lot of moisture, which can make it difficult to have a substantial amount of plantings on such a soil.
Your soil test kit will tell you the PH level of the soil that you are growing on. Soil with a higher PH value will have more alkaline acid content in it than soil with a lower PH value. This means that the nutrients in your soil can be more easily absorbed by the plants you are growing. However, the opposite is true as well. Soils with a higher pH value will have more acidic contents than those with a lower pH value.
There are many reasons why you might want to add organic matter to your soil. First of all, it can make the soil more fertile, especially if the composted material is added before the first crop of grass seeds arrive. It can also increase the fertility of the crops that you grow because of the added organic matter. If you are growing livestock, then you will definitely want to add organic matter before you put your first steer in the pen or you might risk giving the antibiotics for which you are famous.
Most gardeners are familiar with organic materials like straw, dried corn cob, cardboard, and even bone meal. These materials will all hold enormous amounts of nutrients, however, most of these nutrients will not be available to plants unless they are mixed into the soil through a composting process. Soil that has been composted will contain a huge amount of microorganisms, which will break down the organic matter contained therein and release the nutrients to your plants. To make sure that the microorganisms are completely released from the soil, you will want to add medium pressure or high fertility media to the area. This will allow for the mix to settle completely, leaving behind absolutely no nutrients for the plants to take in.
In the Midwest, particularly around St. Louis and Chicago, a gardener might experience some difficulty in getting the proper nutrients for their gardens. However, there are companies out there that offer organic matter in large bags, called humus bags, for much less than a bag full of garden soil. Once you have started using these bags of organic matter and have started to add the humus mixture to the soil, you will notice that your plants begin to grow much better. You might even find that your flowers flower better and have a stronger root system as well.