Let's pause for a minute and talk about dirt. It's probably been a while since you've spent time playing in the stuff, but understanding the different types of soil, and the impact it can have on your plants is crucial.
To grow a blossoming garden, you must have three key ingredients:
First, what exactly is soil? It's a mix of minerals and organic matter (decaying leaves, moss, etc.) that anchors plant roots, provides water, and gives plants the nutrients they need to survive.
When choosing supplies for your urban garden, dirt might seem like the most basic item - you go to the store, choose a bag of soil, and call it a day, right? Wrong.
First, if you go this route, make sure that you select a bag of potting soil. This is designed for raised gardens and plots that aren't rooted in the earth.
Second, not all soil is created equal - different plants need different minerals and prefer different levels of alkalinity. When picking out the right supplies for your small garden, grab a bag of potting soil, and leverage dedicated fertilizers for different flowers, trees, herbs, and vegetables to find the perfect pH level.
To help you determine which supplies to add to your cart, keep these tips in mind:
- Just because the bag is heavy, doesn't mean it's good soil. Often times, a bag of soil is heavy because it has a disproportionate amount of sand in the mix. Unless you're growing plants that thrive in sandy environments, this won't be good for your garden.
- Lay off the mulch. Really! Mulch is great for protecting plants rooted in the earth, cutting down the number of weeds, and helping them retain moisture. But, when it comes to your garden in the city, it can do more harm than good. The mulch can cause a deficiy of nitrogen and actually starve your plants.
- To flower and bloom, plants need NPK. When picking out fertilizers, remember NPK - nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium - all essential nutrients for beautiful flowers.
Now that we've got that out of the way, go ahead and dig in!