you already know, most
arable soils contain the necessary plant food elements to a
extent, but only in a very limited degree in available forms.
are actualy locked up in the soil larder, and only after undergoing
and chemical changes
may be taken up by the feeding roots of plants. They are unlocked only
by the disintegration and decomposition of the soil particles, under
influence of cultivation--or mechanical breaking up--and the access of
water, air and heat.
soil is naturally classified
in two ways: first, as to the amount of plant food contained; second,
to its mechanical condition--the relative proportions of sand,
stone and clay, of which it is made up, and also the degree to which it
has been broken up by cultivation.
approximate amount of
available plant food already contained in the soil can be determined
only by experiment. However, almost all soils without exception need
manuring to produce good garden crops.
learn more about soil variations read: The
ideal garden soil is
what is known as a "rich, sandy loam," at least eight inches deep; if
is deep eighteen it will be even better. It contains the proper
of both sand and clay, and further has been put into the best of
condition by good tilth.
last word brings us
to a new and very important matter. "In good tilth" is a condition of
soil difficult to describe, but a state that the gardener comes soon to
continually and properly
cultivated, comes soon to a degree of fineness and lightness at once
Rain is immediately absorbed by it, and does not stand upon the
it does not readily clog or pack down; it is crumbly and easily worked;
and until your garden is brought to this condition you cannot attain
greatest success from your efforts.
emphasized "properly cultivated."
That means that the soil must be kept well supplied with humus, or
vegetable matter, either by the application of sufficient quantities of
organic manures, or by green manuring, or by "resting under grass,"
produces a similar result from the amount of roots and stubble with
the soil is filled when the sod is broken up.
by supply of good quality
humus your garden will have the chance to be kept in that light,
spongy condition which is absolutely essential to luxuriant vegetable