I spent so much time on my veggie patch last year and just didn't see the spectacular results I was hoping for. This year I've been doing a lot more research to try and get my plants the right nutrients so I can actually get some fresh veggies this year. There is something so tasty about vegetables that are freshly picked from the garden, compared to something you buy in a supermarket and sits in a fridge. I'm improving how I plant them, how I fertilise them and hopefully I'll reap a bumper crop. Read along to see if I do!
The ideal garden soil will consist of a mix of sand and clay, which will make it easy to dig and allow good water drainage. However, most gardens don't have perfect soil for growing plants, shrubs and vegetables. Understanding what type of soil you have can help you make decisions about what to plant in your garden and decide whether to work with what you have or introduce additional soil into your garden to create a growing medium that's suitable for a wider range of plants. Here's an overview of the differences between sandy soil and clay soil:
Sandy soil feels dry and gritty when rubbed between your fingers. It consists of large particles, which allows for natural gaps to form even when the soil is pressed down. Sandy soil allows for excellent water drainage, but this can make the soil more prone to drying out in the heat of summer. Additionally, nutrients can drain away with water, so this type of soil tends to be less fertile than heavier soil. However, sandy soil is quick to warm up when planting season begins, so it's an ideal soil for starting seedlings in, as heat is required for germination. This type of soil is ideal for growing shrubs and bulbs. Root vegetables also grow well in sandy soil, but brassicas can struggle due to their high nutrient requirement.
Clay soil is a heavier soil and is made up of much smaller particles than sandy soil. It's sticky when wet and becomes hard and compacted when it dries out. This type of soil can become waterlogged easily and takes longer to warm up as temperatures rise, so seeds can struggle to germinate in clay soil. However, clay soil is much more nutrient-dense than sandy soil and can be a good growing medium for shallow-rooted fruit trees, such as some pear varieties, and brassicas. Shrubs and perennial plants, such as aster, also grow well in clay soil.
If you're struggling to grow the type of plants you'd like in your garden, you can add soil to your flowerbeds and vegetable patch to change the overall composition and create a well-rounded growing medium that's a mix of both sand and clay soil. Speak to your local garden supply company to determine how much soil you will need. They can deliver soil to your home and some will even allow you to return any unused soil. If you have any questions about soil delivery services, talk to a garden shop near you.