January 22, 2010, Newsletter Issue #115: Compacting Soil

Tip of the Week

You prefer compact cars, compact computers...should you also opt for soil compaction in raised bed planting? Not this time. In soil preparation, you need to make sure your loam and sand are aerated, since traditional gardens get too much foot traffic, too many weeds, and too much activity that squeezes the air out of the soil.

No matter what your soil composition, you have an uphill battle in when you're deciding how to plant a garden the traditional way. When you're gardening raised beds, however, you can mix up the soil in a closed space and intermingle it with organic compost--especially if you've cleared sod to make your raised beds. Sod makes wonderful compost that you can mix with the soil to fill it with nutrients and oxygen.

Soil compaction hinders that process and is an enemy to growing plants. You've learned how to garden so that your plants have room to breathe. Thank goodness your compact car has a great air conditioning system and a sunroof!

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Linda Handiak