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Fall Soil Preparation

As the summer growing season winds down, it’s a great time to prepare your landscape for next season.  Start with a soil test. The results can save you money and the environment.

Contact your local University Extension Office or State Certified soil testing lab for details on taking and submitting a sample to find out what your soil has and what it needs. The results will tell you how much and what type of fertilizer to add for the plants you are trying to grow.

While waiting for your soil test results consider improving your soil’s structure.  Adding organic matter helps improve drainage to heavy clay soils and increase the water holding capacity of sandy and rocky soils.

Compost, aged manure, peat moss and coir are options.  And shred fall leaves and add them to your gardens.  Dig these organic materials into the top 6 to 12 inches of your garden. 

A bit more information: Shredded leaves added to vacant gardens in fall will decompose over winter.  Earthworms, ground beetles, and microorganisms will help work these and other organic matter into the soil, improving drainage and increasing your soil’s water holding capacity.


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