3 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Planting

Are your plants THRIVING or just SURVIVING? If your garden is not growing well, try these 3 simple steps to help. Just like WE thrive on a nutrient-dense diet in a stress-free environment, healthy plants need 'food' and a 'happy home' to live in too. If we meet the ‘needs’ of our plants, they will flourish, blossom and produce a bountiful harvest.
A little effort will reap BIG rewards later!
Step 1: A SEASONAL HEALTH CHECK: Check your soil structure, pH, moisture, nutrients and organic matter. My philosophy is: “Don’t start planting until you ‘give back’ to the soil FIRST.” Soil health = plant health = human health! I make regular ‘deposits’ to build my soil health, because it’s a valuable, long-term ‘asset’. Then, when plants ‘withdraw’ from that ‘nutrient bank’ in the soil, there’s still a healthy ‘balance’.
Test your soil pH. Most edibles prefer 6-7 pH
Step 2: RESTOCK THE SOIL 'PANTRY': Add 'food' to your soil. Reuse ingredients you already have, where possible (e.g. recycle kitchen scraps). Your soil has the capacity to store a bountiful supply of plant foods. If YOU have a fully-stocked kitchen cupboard, you can eat well and be healthy. It’s the same with your plants and the ‘food’ they access in your soil ‘pantry’, via their roots. If you don’t replace the nutrients regularly, one day they may go ‘hungry or thirsty’. Then plants get stressed and don’t grow or worse, have health problems (pests and disease) – just like we do!
Build your soil for healthy plants & garden
Well made compost should contain most of the trace elements your plants need. So every season, add nutrients back e.g. rock minerals, seaweed/kelp, compost, worm castings, organic soil conditioners, compost/worm juice teas + home made DIY fertilisers. You can also revitalize old potting mix and reuse it. [SEE: http://themicrogardener.com/frugal-gardening-re-using-old-potting-mix/]
I add organic matter every season to my beds
Step 3: WATER & MULCH: Before planting, ensure you water your soil. Plants 'drink' soluble plant 'food' through their roots and need sufficient moisture to access soil nutrients. Finally, add a thick ‘blanket’ of protective mulch as insulation. Then tuck your new plant babies into 'bed'!
My Potager: An ornamental kitchen garden
There are more tips & photos in the post so feel free to check it out. Hope this helps with your planting this season!

The Micro Gardener - Anne
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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