If you want to be self-sufficient, you may have an eye on your back garden. It may be undeveloped or covered by a lawn at the moment, and you'd like to cultivate some vegetables to cater to your family needs. As you get ready for the transition, is the soil that you have sufficient, or should you budget for some assistance?
Testing Your Soil
As your garden is largely undeveloped, the soil may not be particularly nutritious. For best results, you should test what you have, as this will help you to modify as needed and provide the best bed for your plants.
When you test, you will be able to determine the pH level, which is the relative alkalinity or acidity down below. If you live in a particularly wet area, then you may find that your soil is more acidic and you may well need to amend the mix if plants are to thrive.
Soil will vary from location to location, and it may even vary dramatically from one part of your garden to another. Yours may be made up of various minerals and organic matter, and you will need to figure out the correct mix so that you can introduce the 'right' type of plant.
Remember, your plants will only thrive if they can find the proper nutrients, and this is especially true for seasonal vegetables. You also need to make sure that they can breathe so that air can reach the roots and that the bed drains well too.
Once you get rid of your lawn and have bare earth to deal with, you should bring in some new topsoil. Don't be tempted to stick with what you have as it may not have enough organic matter within.
When you buy topsoil from your local dealer, it will already be nutrient-rich, and you should mix it in with your existing soil for best effect. Lay down a couple of centimetres on top of your planting beds and then mix it into the existing soil with the correct tools. Then, make sure that you do not walk on top to compact the soil, as this will certainly be detrimental. Instead, create pathways in between your vegetable beds using small stones or gravel.
Getting Your Supplies
Talk with your garden equipment supplier to get some advice. If you need to get new soil for your garden, they can help you find soil delivery services that you can order from.