By Anna Cottrell published
This garden soil mix recipe is the only one you'll ever need to make sure you have happy, thriving plants. Speaking in a recent video, the gardener and presenter listed the top things he wished he had known when he was starting out as a gardener, and the 'soil is key' point was his first and most important one.
The Colorado-based gardener and presenter insists that his top tip isn't just for beginner gardeners, either. He explains that he considered himself 'a new gardener for many, many years because I just kept making mistakes'. Not getting the soil mix right was always the top one, and is one you'll want to avoid whether you're planting up your garden borders or filling raised garden beds.
Gardener Scott explains that as he learned as part of his professional gardener training, '80% of plant problems can be traced to your soil. If something's not going right – look to the soil. If things are going right, it's probably because you cared about your soil.'
This simple wisdom is a distillation of many years of gardening experience, but, says Scott, 'too few gardeners realize this', instead 'putting bandaids on their garden' –chemical treatments, or quick fixes they saw on the Internet.
Forget these temporary and ineffective measures to improve the health of your garden. Instead, follow this tried and tested 'textbook formula' for garden soil: 45% mineral content, 25% air, 25% water, 5% organic matter.
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Too many gardeners focus on just one component of healthy soil instead of all of them: 'They'll focus on the water, or they'll focus on the tilling, or they'll focus on the compost to get that organic matter.'
The truth is, 'these things need to be working together' in order for the soil to function properly to support your plants. 'Think about the soil as the foundation of your garden, quite literally. If you get you soil right...the entire process will be easier.'
It's a simple formula to follow, and even if all of the soil in your garden isn't perfectly balanced, you can always at least replace the topsoil with correctly formulated soil.
Want more ways to give your plants an added boost? Head over to our guide to mulching for our expert tips on adding mulch to your flowerbeds and borders.
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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