How to Prepare the Soil for a Garden

Views: 80023 | Last Update: 2008-07-30
Learn about preparing the soil in this free gardening video about growing your perfect garden. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolande VanVeen, on behalf of Expert Village. In this section we are talking about flower gardening, and in this segment we are talking about how to pick soil. What's the best soil and how much soil do I use. My theory is with soil, we need to go back to the natural, the whole ideal ... that your soil should be composed of compost only. I am talking leaf clippings, fir clippings, and mushroom compost, sand ... and get away from everything that is not natural. So everyone wants to sell you the bonemeal, and they want to sell you expensive different mixes that have Vermiculite and all the different types of man-made substances in them, and I found that in the end, all that really matters is compost. In nature, the leaves fall off the trees and cover the ground, and that's how it creates its own compost. So it's not really that complicated. So when you are deciding on your soil, I just get a good compost mix. The mix that I use is called the four-way mix. It's called the Irish mix. It has sand, fir compost, mushroom compost, and all kinds of leaf clippings and grass clippings in it. So that together seems to work out really well for me, and I don't use anything else. In deciding how much soil to use. And so when picking out my soil too, I want it to be loose and moist and fresh, but not still steaming hot. So you have to be sure when you get compost, sometimes it's really hot still. Or if you're making your own compost, and it's still hot and steaming, then wait awhile. Give it another couple of months. So whenever compost is really really cold, then it's ready to use. It needs to be airy. Sometimes a little bit of gravel underneath your beds helps a lot to give it good drainage. When I cover my beds, I usually use mulch, grass clippings, leaf clippings on the very bottom. Then I will put a little bit of ... six inches... or about three inches of compost down. Then I lay my bulbs down, and then another three inches on top of that. The beds only need to be about six inches deep, so a little bit soil really goes a long way. And nowadays, you can even buy the soil and they'll deliver it to you. They shoot it over the fence to directly where you want it. So it can't get any easier than that. Compost is easy to purchase, you can buy it at the garden center or you can buy it by the truckload. So either way, you're going to have great soil. Knowing that, let's talk about in the next segment, how many bulbs do I plant together? do I plant my groupings.