No, it's not with silver bells and cockle shells shells and pretty maids all in a row! But, it does have a lot to do with the health of your soil. According to Dr. Nick Goeser, executive director of the Soil Health Partnership, there are three major components of healthy soil; Physical, Biological and Chemical. As you prepare your garden spot this Spring, it's important to keep all three of these in mind.
The physical condition is the soils ability to hold water. It is determined by the texture, structure and compactability of the soil. Here in Omaha, NE, our soil tends to be mostly clay which is very compact and holds water well. This can be good for gardening, but not quite so good when preforming a perk test for a septic site. It usually means we don't have to water quite as often as our Southern neighbors.
The biological composition of the soil has to do with the presence of beneficial bacteria and organic matter such as roots and other parts of last years garden left to decay and feed future gardens. It is important to till all of these bits and pieces into the soil the Fall to give these time to break down and contribute. Worms and other insects also contribute to the biological composition of the soil and are very important in breaking up the stickiness of our Omaha soil.
Finally, the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other micro nutrients, along with the soil's pH determine it's chemical composition. When you strike the right balance between all three of these components, your garden will flourish and the foods you produce will be filled with goodness and health for your family. And, when you are enjoying the fruits of your labor, there will be no room for any contrariness!