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Soil—Dirty details of gardening success

At Proven Winners we like to remind you that a better garden starts with a better plant.  A Proven Winners plant. 

However, we also know that to have a great garden, you have to have great soil.  Depending on soil conditions, you may need to amend yours to make it more plant friendly.

Start by testing the soil in the area you are planting to see what it lacks.  You can buy a simple soil testing kit at a local garden center.  Or check with your County Research and Extension Service.  Many provide free or low-cost soil testing.

No matter what the test shows, all types of soil benefit from the simple addition of organic matter or compost.  So, learning about composting or “garden gold” is the place to start.

Composting is a simple way to transform organic yard waste, kitchen scraps, even dryer lint into garden gold.  However, it can take months for the transformation to happen.  If you and your soil are impatient, follow these tips for speeding up the composting process.

Whether you’re planting a new or existing bed, proper soil preparation is important.  The soil is the place your plant roots will call home for as long as they live.  For annuals, that’s one growing season.  For perennials, it can be years.  Learn more about preparing soil in different types of beds.

Good soil prep is the key to successful gardening. This article covers the basics of soil preparation.

How to choose a good potting soil.

Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip' Buddleia (butterfly bush)

Basics of soil explained and definitions of common terms.

Adding compost to your garden is one of the best things you can do for your plants. If compost ingredients are carefully mixed you can create compost in a matter of weeks not months. This article explains how.

Sandy soil is often cursed by gardeners but sand can be a wonderful thing. The Dirt on Dirt - Sand will teach you about sandy soils, why you should love them, and how to make them even better.

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