How Seasonal Gardening Increases Soil Sustainability

 Image/Lukas

Image/Lukas

By Emily Folk

Gardening is a passion that many people enjoy because of how simple and rewarding it is. If you know how to take care of the plant you want to grow, there’s almost nothing stopping you from filling your house or yard with beautiful blooms and foliage. At a certain point, though, gardening can get a bit more complex. There’s things to think about that most beginner gardeners don’t consider because it requires a bit of gardening knowledge.

One of these things is the quality of the soil that you use to grow your plants. There’s always a soil test you can run to check for the pH levels in the ground where you plan to garden, but there’s other soil considerations everyone should take as well. If you’re planning to garden for more than just one growing season, think of how gardening can put some wear and tear on your soil.

Certain plants derive soil of certain nutrients. What nutrients a plant consumes is different depending on the type of plant. That’s why every gardener should learn how seasonal gardening can increase soil sustainability. In order to keep both your plants and soil healthy, try a few of these tips for a beautiful garden that will continue to thrive in the long run.

Spring

When the weather begins to warm up and the soil becomes easier to work with, it’s time to start preparing your garden for the spring growing season. Make sure not to bother any bulbs you planted during the fall or the early winter! To prepare your spring garden while keeping the soil in mind, start composting with a couple easy steps. You’ll have an all-natural fertilizer that will give life back to the soil while speeding the growth of your plants.

Summer

As the seasons change, you might find yourself needing a great guide to seasonal gardening, but for the warmest months of the year, there’s only a few things you have to keep in mind. The first is that you need to watch for bugs again and think about environmentally friendly pesticides. The second is the soil that’s helping you grow beautiful plants through the hottest season of the year.

Summer plants, like annuals, need lots of water that the soil might quickly drain out. Rising temperature can also evaporate water before it ever reaches the roots of your plants. That’s why you should create soil moats around where your plants are. They’ll hold the water until the soil is ready for more and help prevent soil erosion that happens when too much running water is forced onto plants all at once.

Fall

You’ll notice that when fall begins, some plants will thrive as others die off. This is natural, and it means that it’s also time for you to dig up the soil where plants have died and make sure all dead roots are removed. Then, add two inches of soil or composting material so there’s fresh organic matter for your new winter plants like bulbs. Especially if you’re going to be growing the same thing twice, it’s a good idea to add more nutrients to your garden soil in the fall.

Winter

You don’t have to quit growing plants just because its winter. After all, chances are good that you’ll have bushes and shrubs still in the ground when the first frost hits. To help the soil be the best home for your plants, get to mulching when temperatures start to drop. Drastic temperature fluctuations can shock plants into a state of dormancy or decay because soil can’t cope with big thermal changes. Add a fresh layer of mulch around your plants so the soil can adjust to the winter cold more evenly.

Seasonal gardening tricks can not only help your garden to thrive all year long, but your soil too. It’s easy to forget that soil needs to be taken care of just like your plants, but it can really be the key to a successful garden. Schedule out ahead of time when you’re going to do each care tip for your garden soil so you don’t forget about any later on in the year. Your soil will thank you for the care, and in return, you’ll have a garden that produces beautiful blooms and delicious vegetables.

Bio:
Emily is a sustainability writer and avid gardener. You can read more of her work on her site, Conservation Folks, where she writes about helping tomorrow’s planet today.