Best ways of enriching garden soil

Do you want to know the best ways to enrich garden soil for a healthy growth of your garden plants? You can find it in this article.

If you are a garden lover, I am sure you might be busy with monsoon gardening, weeding and transplanting the saplings.

Well, as a garden lover you love to see the healthy growth of the plants in your garden. Plants in the garden, be it a kitchen garden or a balcony garden, grow healthily depending on the proper conditions of the soil by absorbing the required nutrients. Over a period of time, the soil loses its fertility as most of the plants drain the nutrients from the soil. However. there are certain plants like the leguminous plants which help in fixing nitrogen in the soil and thereby enrich the soil.

From time to time, you need to follow certain ways to improve the quality of the garden soil and enrich it for the healthy plant growth in your garden.

Soil requirement in general for gardening

The basic requirement for garden soil is that it needs to be rich in organic matter. Also ensure that the soil is free from weed seeds and is pest-free. The other requirements include porosity of the soil, that it should support anchorage and it should be able to retain optimum water.

Preparing garden soil

For a successful gardening, be it vegetable or flower gardening, you need to prepare the soil for gardening. If you want to do container gardening or grow plants in pots, you need to prepare potting mixture / soil. You can prepare the garden soil or potting mix well in advance, say a season ahead. If you want to grow in spring, then you can start preparing the soil either during fall or winter depending on your location and weather conditions. If you want to go for monsoon gardening, you can start your preparation in spring.

If you are preparing For potting mix, ensure that the mixture is porous, light in weight and fluffy, rich in nutrients, free from pests and weed seeds, has optimum water retention capacity, proper draining and good anchorage to support the plant growth.

For potting mix or gardening, use quality soil that is not having too much of gravel (stones) and too many lumps. Ensure that the soil is rich in nutrients. In India, in many of the nurseries you get good quality soil at reasonable price. You can use this soil for gardening or as potting mix.

How to enrich garden soil

Once you start gardening / container gardening, most of the plants absorb the nutrients from the soil, of course for their healthy growth, and thus deplete the soil. Hence, you need to keep enriching the garden soil / pot soil from time to time. Following are some of the best ways of enriching the soil for the healthy growth of garden / potted plants:
  • Add organic fertilizer i.e manure

    Organic matter is the best way of enriching garden soil. Add organic matter i.e manure made from cow dung and droppings of other herbivorous animals but not of the carnivores. Manure made of cow dung is extensively used in Indian farming / gardening. Allow the cow dung / dung of other animals to decompose or dry up to make good manure. Add this organic manure to the soil few weeks before you start planting the saplings or sowing the seeds. Cow dung is rich in required nutrients for garden soil and thus helps in the rich and healthy plant growth.

  • Add vermicompost / compost to the garden soil

    Vermicompost is one of the excellent nutrient-rich soil conditioner that increases the fertility of the soil manifold. Vermicompost / compost is prepared by decomposing organic waste which include kitchen waste, using earthworms. The earthworms and micro-organisms (decomposers) in the soil break down the minerals to a form that can be easily absorbed by the garden plants. The decomposed organic matter supplies nitrogen (chemical symbol of nitrogen is N) and potassium (chemical symbol of potassium - K) to the soil. The decomposers and earthworms also help in aerating the soil.

  • Adding oil cakes

    From olden days, oil cakes are used for enriching the soil. These oil cakes are the remains / by-products of the oil seeds like groundnuts (peanuts), sesame seeds etc that are obtained after crushing or extracting oil from the seeds. Oil cakes are rich in nutrient content and make good organic fertilizer. In many regions of India, these are also used as fodder for animals due to the rich nutrient content.

  • Mix wood ash to the soil

    Ash obtained by burning wood helps in raising the pH levels of the soil. Wood ash not only supplies nutrients to the soil but also helps in detoxifying the soil.

  • Add coco peat to potting mix

    If you are doing container gardening and want to enrich the soil in your pot / container, use coco peat. The granular husky by-product obtained from coconut fiber / coir is known as coco peat. This is the best natural medium for growing garden plants as it has optimum pH that helps in plant growth. Coco peat also helps in the optimal retention of water by keeping the soil aerated. Coco peat is available in the market which is sold in the form of compressed bricks. These expand on mixing with water.

Coco peat

Coco peat

Image courtesy: Amazon. in

Other ways of enriching soil

In addition to the above mention best practices of enriching garden soil, there are few simple ways of doing so. Alternate grow n-fixing (nitrogen fixing) plants / leguminous plants like the pea plants which help in fixing nitrogen to the soil and thus enriches the soil. Add egg shells which supply the required nutrients to the soil.

Plants grow healthily in the soil which gets enriched with nutrients from time to time. As a garden lover, you should ensure that you are providing nutrient rich soil to your garden plants.

Article by Kalyani
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

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Author: Anauj18 Aug 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

What nice tips for people interested in gardening.

Additionally, an avid gardener can also adopt the practice of composting, at home. Compost bins are commercially available and enable turning kitchen waste into nutrient rich compost. These are compact devices and do not take much space. They can be placed in a corner on the terrace or in the garden. A compost bin takes as little space as an average house dustbin does. It helps reduce the waste you create, by skilfully managing it and putting it to good use.

Every major city has gardening enthusiasts who come together to share their knowledge. There are workshops that people can attend. I know of places in Chennai, where such projects are undertaken. More information on the same can be sought in the links provided.

Smart go-green eco-friendly projects for Chennai kids

Gardening workshops for children in Chennai

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