Gardens can be a fun way to learn about the food you eat and the world around you. Planting a garden requires knowing about the various parts of the garden. One of these parts is the gardening soil. There are many facts about gardening soil that will help you understand how your garden works.
What is Soil?
Soil is a layer of the Earth; it is the outermost layer and the only visible layer of the planet. Soil is made up of various amounts of living and dead organisms, minerals and nutrients. Soil is what provides plants in the garden with their nutrition. There are over 70,000 types of soil within the United States alone. Gardening soil can be any of these types of soil; certain soil works better than others for gardens, depending on the location.
One inch of garden soil takes 500 years to make naturally. It takes five tons of topsoil to cover an acre the thickness of a dime. Up to 10 tons of animal life can live in one acre of soil.
Earthworms, specifically Red worms, are a natural benefit you can add to the soil. Worms turn the soil, mixing organic matter into it; worms also help increase the flow of oxygen through the soil by loosening up the soil. Worms create a natural fertilizer too; the worms eat organic matter and their castings (waste) is the fertilizer that enriches the soil. A half million worms living in one acre of land produce 50 tons of fertilizer.
Bad Garden Soil
Several factors can make for unproductive garden soil. Compacted soil is bad for drainage and can cause roots to drown. Overly dry soil keeps nutrients trapped in the soil where the plants can't get it out. Overly wet soil drains the nutrients from the topsoil and can drown the roots. Wet soil can also cause plants to be attractive to bacteria and fungus because these are attracted by moisture.
How to Determine Good From Bad Soil
If the area where you plan the garden has lots of weeds, vegetables will grow well there also. If the soil has lots of worms in it before you plant, it is very rich in nutrients and natural fertilizer. The darker the soil, the better the soil is for growing plants.