Ways to improve soil quality:
There are many ways soil can be improved to suit the type of plants you want to grow in your wildlife garden. However, changing the PH of your soil or profoundly changing the soil’s structure is extremely difficult and expensive. Ideally, we choose the right plant for the right soil.
However, we can enrich our gardens by:
- Adding organic matter: this can be either in the form of compost (see our compost information page) or well-rotted manure. These improve the soil’s structure, and water retention, and increase the amount of nutrients in the soil.
- Adjusting PH: research whether your desired plant prefers acidic or alkaline soil. You can control the PH, mainly by planting in pots. To make the soil less acidic, you can add lime, and to make the soil less alkaline, sulphur or compost can lower the PH.
- Adding mulch: straw, leaves, and wood chips help the soil retain its moisture, retain temperature, and help stop weed growth.
- Limit chemicals: try not to use pesticides and fertilisers by using organic methods such as compost and natural pest controls to promote biodiversity and overall soil improvements. See our information page on natural pest control here.
- Crop rotation: moving plants around each year can deter pests and diseases specific to certain plants. Also cycles nutrients better!