Should I add sand to an existing veggie garden bed?
Some recommend peat moss, sheep manure and compost. What is the best ratio?
What type of ingredients should I add to a new veggie bed? What is the best ratio?
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners regarding amendment of your vegetable garden soil. Preparation of the vegetable bed, both existing and new, is an essential key for healthy plants. Sand is a fast draining amendment, too much of which will deprive the pants of necessary moisture. In order to have a better idea of which amendments to add, you might want to test your own soil for percentages of sand, silt & clay, using this simple method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUhOBxVFcFk From the results of this test, you will be able to determine your soil type and which amendments will be most suitable.
Organic matter best supports plant growth by providing nutrients, aerating the soil and enabling moisture retention. For more information start at mark 18:58 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kphMc_Rkz_o Sources of organic matter are your own composted kitchen and yard waste. For information on composting, please refer to:
Mulch and composted amendments can also be purchased from reputable suppliers.
Another wonderful amendment is worm castings, for more information on this, see: https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/worm-castings/ If you are interested in in producing your own worm castings from kitchen waste, there are many online resources for vermiculture.
For more information, please see:
Wishing you a bountiful harvest.
March 19, 2021