In Utah, our native garden soil is, to be honest, pretty awful.
In fact, left alone, the dirt in your yard or garden probably won’t grow much more than a few unsightly weeds. So, when it’s time to plant your vegetables, fruit and decorative plants, you have to invest a little time and effort to make the environment more hospitable for growing success.
With these three garden soil hacks, you can take your dirt from awful to awesome in just a few days – just in time for planting your summer garden.
No. 1: Learn About Your Native Garden Soil
Unless you know what type of dirt you have in your planting beds already, you can’t adjust it to suit your plants.
The best way to determine your soil type is to have it tested. The Utah State University Analytical Laboratory (USUAL) offers soil testing services to everyone and the process is simple and inexpensive.
Follow the sampling steps outlined on the USUAL website, place your samples in zip-close sandwich bags and ship them off (or deliver them) to the lab with $14. In five to ten days, you’ll have your results.
You can learn more about soil testing on the Utah State University Extension website, including this Soil Testing Guide for Home Gardens. Don’t be tempted to purchase a home soil testing kit from the “big box” home improvement store, because those are typically not designed for testing Intermountain West dirt. Using the USUAL testing service will assure you that your soil is evaluated based strictly on Northern Utah standards.
No. 2: Determine the Best Garden Soil for Your Plants
What do you plan to grow this year? The right type of garden soil for you will depend on the types of plants you want to grow. Different elements of soil carry different nutrients. Drainage also varies based on your native soil composition.
For example, tomatoes grow best in dirt that has a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8, which is slightly on the acidic side. Utah soil tends to be much more alkaline, so you will have to amend your dirt accordingly. Tomatoes also like soil that is continually moist, but only slightly so. This means you’ll need to add plenty of organic matter to your planting beds.
You can ask at your local garden center what type of dirt you need for each type of plant. Or you can find lots of information online.
No. 3: Use Garden Soil Amendments to Achieve Your Goals
Now that you know what type of dirt you have – and what type of garden soil you need – all that’s left is to is amend your planting dirt to match your goals.
The best way to accomplish this is to order the necessary amendments from The Dirt Bag. Whether you need mulch, organic compost or sand, we can deliver it right to your door.
Or, you can make things even easier on yourself this year, and skip the first two steps. Dig out your garden beds and order our pre-blended Garden Soil Plus. We can deliver this proprietary blend – created specifically for Northern Utah gardeners – in convenient one-cubic-yard bags or in larger, bulk quantities.
Contact The Dirt Bag today for quick, easy and affordable landscape materials delivery for your garden. Give your garden a healthy boost this year by placing your garden soil order today.