One of the best ways to improve your soil quality is to build raised beds. A raised bed can be anywhere from three inches high to 3-4 feet high. You can make edges for the beds to hold the soil in place or slant the soil and tamp in place. I myself prefer edging.
The shallower beds make fast new gardens and are placed in areas where the soil is ok but just needs new nutrients for better crops.
The three to four foot gardens are placed in areas where you need a lot of new nutrients or where the soil is extremely poor. Another great use for the higher beds is in hillsides where they act as a wall or for people with bad backs or disabilities.
One of my favorite uses for three-foot high raised bed is for planting watermelons and other melons. These plants need extra fertilizer and the deeper beds I fill half full on manure and top with compost. I have great crops of melons with little work. I also sink a plastic milk jug upside down in the center with the bottom cut off for deep watering. Just fill the milk jug when the bed is dry and the planter waters itself. Using this method the water goes deeply into the soil and the soil will not dry out as fast.
Creating a new bed will also improve the spoil. Just mark out the area you intend to use and till or dig up that area. You can either add bags of compost or organic materials to the area and till or dig it up again to mix in the newly added nutrients. Once your new soil is mixed well you will be ready to plant.
Another fast and very easy way to improve the soil is to use the lasagna garden technique. Here is an article on Lasagna Gardening: http://thegardenersrake.com/lasagna-gardening-history-and-how-to-make-a-lasagna-garden
Good soil is one of the most important steps in successful gardening.
Tags: how to improve soil, raised beds, adding nutrients, lasagna gardening
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