How to Prepare Organic Soil


Organic soil is free from synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. It contains microorganisms that create nutrients for growing plants. Compost is used to increase the health of poor soils. Compost cleans up pollutants in soils that have been contaminated, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Organic soil is easy to prepare for the home garden by starting a compost pile. Local recycling programs often have low-fee compost bins for sale and workshops about composting.

Step 1

Place the compost bin in a sunny spot in the garden. Sunlight intensifies the heat in the bin and aids the decay process.

Step 2

Collect materials for the compost pile. "Greens" are grass clippings, kitchen peelings and yard trimmings. "Browns" are shredded newspapers, dry leaves and weeds, and tea and coffee grounds.

Step 3

Spread a 4-inch layer of brown materials at the bottom of the compost bin. Add a 4-inch layer of green materials.

Step 4

Sprinkle a handful of garden soil over these two layers. Garden soil has microorganisms that help begin the decay process in the compost pile

Step 5

Water the layers enough to create moisture throughout but not leave it soggy. Moisture aids the decay process.

Step 6

Repeat the brown and green layering and the watering until the compost bin is full. Stir occasionally with a strong stick or pitchfork to incorporate oxygen into the pile.

Tips and Warnings

  • If there are too many flies when the compost bin is opened, put another layer of brown materials on top. Lack of water stops the decay process. If the compost pile becomes too dry, simply water the pile thoroughly to begin decomposition.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden soil
  • Compost bin
  • Green materials
  • Brown materials
  • Stick or pitchfork


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Compost Environmental Benefits
  • Ohio State University Extension: Composting at Home

Who Can Help

  • Capital District Community Gardens: Fertilize Your Garden With Organic Compost
Keywords: make organic soil, composting, make compost

About this Author

Joan Norton, M.A., is a licensed psychotherapist and professional writer in the field of women's spirituality. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene; "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine:Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene," and "The Mary Magdalene Within."