The soil in your vegetable garden is the basis for your plant to grow.
When I am talking about soil I mean healthy soil without any chemicals.
Making your soil healthy takes time and effort. You have to keep adding the right nutrients to do this and that is not always easy.
How I got started with soil improvement.
I had no other option than to build raised garden beds since our house is built up or next to an old city dump.
Since I live in the country I went to a local company that sells everything a farmer needs and bought some big pressed bails of soil.
What I found out later was that there were no nutrients in that soil and I had to make my soil healthy, and that took me a long time and I am still not done.
From a local Mennonite, I bought a lot of compost and added that to the first bed. This was a good start but still not good enough.
I bought bags of so-called compost from the Tractor Supply store to find out later that it was not composted enough. It helped but not as much as I hoped in the first year.
I had the luck to buy a compost tumbler at a yard sale and started composting all our kitchen scraps and garden clippings.
I did a lot of reading and also added cut-up cardboard boxes to the composter and was surprised to see a lot of worms showing up in my composter. Worms are one of the signs that the composter worked.
Now I add all my kitchen scraps and garden clippings to a barrel that I made from a cheap garbage can.
I have drilled holes in the sides and the bottom to let the air get in it. The holes at the bottom let the moisture run out and I had even worms crawling in this compost bin.
In the fall I empty my compost tumbler in the garden beds and fill it with the content of the carbage can.
This method gives me some pretty good compost to add to my garden every year.
I need a lot more compost and am still looking for an affordable source to buy it.
Eddie van Aken