An intact soil ecosystem gives plants their vitality, supporting plant roots with microbes, fungi and bacteria that nourish and protect their roots. A teaspoon of soil alone contains millions of life forms which support and nourished its inhabitants!

Understanding and meeting the needs of your soil are the keys to its wellbeing, so that you can efficiently grow more food while expending less effort! This way you will get maximum output with minimum effort!

Start with the Right Soil

Most homeowners don’t consider soil type when planting, but it can have a tremendous effect on the health of their garden. Soil provides air, water, physical support and temperature regulation for plants while providing a medium for microorganisms that aid root development. If your soil quality is subpar you will likely require amending before you plant.

Soil types range from sandy to clay and silty, and each requires its own approach to amendment. Sandy soils tend to be light and crumbly with large particles for easy working conditions but are low in nutrients; silty soils offer abundant nutrition but have an open texture more vulnerable to erosion; loam soil provides the best of all three, likely not necessitating any major amending prior to planting.

A great way to test soil health is to take a sample and measure its pH level. An optimal soil pH range should fall between 6.5 and 7.5; lower pH levels indicate acidic soils while higher pH levels indicate basic or alkaline environments. To increase pH levels, add limestone while sulfur or sphagnum peat moss can be used to lower them.

Before planting, take into account your area’s typical rainfall and drainage. Avoid planting water-loving species where regular flooding occurs or drought tolerant ones in wet spots.

Consider each plant’s individual water needs when planting in your bed and where they will be located in relation to other plants in it. Grouping together plants that require similar amounts of moisture will allow them to flourish more successfully while decreasing watering or supplemented irrigation needs.

Our living soil beds are constructed of super-durable fabric from the United States and designed specifically for gardening with living soils. Each one features an aeration strip designed to stimulate root development as well as a BPA-free waterproof liner to help prevent water loss in traditional fabric growing containers. Their MoistureLock technology uses gravity and mimics how nature dries soil – ultimately improving microbial activity!

Add Compost

Compost provides essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; in addition to micronutrients needed in smaller quantities but essential for their optimum health – such as boron, copper, iron manganese molybdenum niacin zinc etc – Compost also acts as a rich source of organic matter which enhances soil structure, improves moisture retention and helps prevent soil erosion.

At least once annually, it’s essential to add compost to your soil. This should take place either prior to planting in the spring, or as part of regular garden maintenance tasks. Compost can serve two functions – soil amendment by mixing into the top six to nine inches of existing soil; or mulch by layering three-inches worth on top.

Compost when added to soil bonds with organic matter in the ground to form small aggregates known as “crumbs,” increasing water-holding capacity while creating more space for oxygen which benefits root growth. Furthermore, compost helps neutralize various metal toxins such as cadmium and lead by bonding to them so they cannot be taken up by plants.

Compost can also be mixed into potting soil to give plants an added boost. This method can especially beneficial when repotting or transplanting plants as the compost will become integrated with existing soil to nourish roots of new plant life.

As well as compost, worm castings can serve as an additional soil amendment. Worm castings are the waste produced when worms digest their food, providing extra support for your soil due to being rich in nutrient content – particularly calcium and magnesium – while acting like natural fertilizer by slowly releasing their essential minerals back into the ground as they decompose.

For optimal compost results, it’s best to rake or till your compost into existing soil using either hand tools or machinery, giving your plants gradual nutrient release while simultaneously encouraging beneficial bacteria and microorganisms to do their work. However, the new kultiva living soil fabric pots can be the best choice for your plant.

Water Well

Most plants require consistent watering in order to thrive. How often and in what amount depends upon its needs and surrounding conditions. Some plants, like queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra), enjoy all the moisture they can get while others such as butterfly weed (Monarda didyma) may become vulnerable to root rot if their soil stays wet for too long.

Traditional fabric pots drain and dry quickly from both bottom and sides, which works great if you are feeding plants directly through hydroponics or directly, but can create uneven drainage patterns and dry pockets when growing in living soil. Grassroots’ innovative fabric design provides an alternative by mimicking nature’s top-down drying pattern while simultaneously increasing moisture retention while cultivating beneficial microbes.

To achieve these benefits, the Grassroots Nutrifield Raised Living Soil Bed features an innovative waterproof liner and bottom aeration strip – two features which improve drainage, aeration and dry pocket prevention while simultaneously decreasing water usage by lengthening the wet-to-dry cycle and supporting soil food webs while encouraging healthy root systems.

These beds also help reduce chemical fertilizers and pesticide use by encouraging healthy soil that produces its own nutrients, along with proper watering procedures, helping plants flourish without having a negative impact on the environment.

To irrigate your plants, simply place a watering well at each corner of the bed, fill it up with your preferred feed or water solution and drip-water it into each planting hole – eliminating runoff or erosion while meeting all watering needs efficiently and avoiding runoff or erosion. Watering wells typically only need refilling once or twice every week depending on weather conditions; additionally, these beds are crafted from USA-made fabric which is BPA-free and chemically inert so as not to harm delicate plant roots; additionally they hem all sides with marine-bonded thread so they’ll withstand mold or mildew for years of service!

Keep It Healthy

If you want your plants to flourish, their soil must also be healthy. By choosing living soil instead of chemical fertilizers that disturb the balance of microorganisms in the soil and encourage pathogen growth, living soil provides an organic matter-rich compost that keeps nutrients flowing while encouraging robust plant development.

To create the ideal soil mixture for your raised beds, utilize organic materials you already have on hand, such as grass clippings, leaves, woody bark chips, chopped hay or any other dried vegetative matter. When layering these on top of existing soil and finishing off with an inch or two of mulch/living ground cover to prevent weeds while keeping moisture levels balanced and decreasing the risk of over or underwatering.

One way to extend the life of your raised beds is by switching up what’s planted each year. Different plants require different amounts of nutrition from soil, so planting only one type in each bed year after year could deplete it of essential minerals while encouraging pathogenic organisms. Rotating what you plant each year keeps soil nutrient-rich while simultaneously encouraging an abundance of beneficial insects in your garden.

When planting, begin by spreading several inches of the best living soil you have across each bed, before planting your chosen crop. Be mindful when working with living soil as to not disturb it too much as this allows it to continue rebuilding itself over time and becoming healthier.