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Video:Tips for Choosing Soil for an Organic Garden

with Kim Moss

Find out what makes a healthy organic soil. This About.com video will give you tips for how you can improve your soil so that your organic garden can flourish.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Choosing Soil for an Organic Garden

Hi, I’m Kim Moss for About.com, and I’m going to give you a few tips for choosing soil for an organic garden.

Considerations for Organic Soil

A few important things to take into consideration when choosing organic soil are its texture, structure, health and pH.

Texture of Organic Soil

Texture refers to the amount of sand, silt and clay in the soil.Sand has the largest particles, it does not compact easily, it’s course and it drains well. Silt particles are much smaller than sand but slightly larger than clay and is often found at the bottom of bodies of water.Clay has microscopic sized particles, packs very easily, can be too clumpy and has difficulty draining, leaving little room for air or water to move through it.

Organic Soil Structure

Structure basically refers to how the soil clumps or binds together and how air and water move through it. A good soil structure is crumbly, which allows for plant roots to grow easily, air to pass through it, the water to drain, but not too quickly so that the plant can absorb it before it drains away.

Loam soil, which is composed of the three basic textures and organic matter, has the best structure, and is the best choice of soils for organic gardens.

Healthy Organic Soil

A healthy soil refers to its ability to sustain plant life within the ecosystem, and the addition of organic matter to any garden is the key in making your soil healthy. Organic matter also improves your soils texture and structure. By adding organic matter such as, composted manure, sand, compost, grass clippings and shredded leaves, you can help make your soil loamier. Organic matter also encourages soil dwelling insects, that help aerate the soil, and keep your soil microorganism enriched.

pH in Organic Soil

You may need to look at the pH level of your soil. You will find that most plants do well in soil with a neutral pH of 6.6 to 7.4. You can add organic lime, sulfur or organic peat moss as needed to change your pH. But, if your plants look healthy, your pH is most likely fine. And lastly, when buying soil for your organic garden, make sure it is labeled as organic by an accredited body and avoid putting anything that might have synthetic fertilizers or chemicals that destroy beneficial life in the soil.Thanks for watching! To learn more about organic gardening, visit us on the web at about.com.

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