Creating A Productive Organic Garden With Difficult Soils (Google / 1stoporganicgardening)

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Creating A Productive Organic Garden With Difficult Soils

Here’s a photo of an area of our organic garden that we haven’t used previously. We have terrible soil and have had to bring in soil and build raised beds to have any success with growing our organic veggies. Our soil is non-wetting, sandy soil. In fact it’s just like beach sand, without the shells. The water doesn’t penetrate into the soil. It just pools together and runs off, without going in at all!!!! But there are ways around difficult soils. Raised beds are one way – especially if poor drainage is your issue.


As you can see in the photo above, we’ve dug a trench along the fence line where we’re going to plant tomatoes, capsicum and basil. We’re filling the trench with a mix of organic soil and organic compost – both available from a local landscape supply company. This way the plants will get the moisture they need, as well as nutrients from the good soil. Of course we’ll be adding organic fertilizers as our veggies are growing. This is really important for plants growing in sandy soils as many nutrients are leached out of sandy soils when it rains or you irrigate.


So don’t despair if your soil isn’t perfect – there are ways to improve it. One of the other best ways to amend your soil over time is with the addition of organic matter to the soil surface. Compost (organic matter) will even level out pH levels. Get my free composting guide to start your own compost pile. And don’t be put off by difficult soils, just learn the best and quickest ways to improve it or work around it.

Happy Organic Gardening, Healthy Living…


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.