A beginner's guide to building soil

by Ari Koufos 11/21/2022

Improving or “building” soil is essential for every successful home garden. By adding the right nutrients, you can help your plants grow healthy and plentiful. Luckily, the process is fairly simple, and can save you money you’d otherwise spend on ready-made soil.

Here are some beginner tips for turning regular dirt into healthy garden soil:

Start with a soil test

Before you add anything to your soil, use a soil test kit to determine what it needs. This test can tell you about your soil pH level and the amount of essential plant nutrients it contains. Certain plants require a specific pH range to thrive, so be sure to research the individual soil needs for each plant.

The most important minerals for a happy garden are potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. Soil deficient in a specific mineral can be improved with specific ingredients or “amendments.” If all the minerals are low, an all-purpose fertilizer is the best place to begin.

Create a compost pile

You can easily create your own all-purpose fertilizer by composting organic kitchen scraps and garden waste. Composting slowly breaks down the materials into their basic components, most of which are needed for plants to survive. Some examples of compostable materials you might have at home include dry leaves, vegetable scraps, lawn clippings and coffee grounds.

Not only will compost add valuable nutrients, it will also improve soil structure, maintain a neutral soil pH, and help the soil retain moisture for healthy plant roots. Compost will also feed the earthworms and other soil organisms, which promote aeration and further improve fertility.

Composting takes patience, but using your leftover organic matter to create healthy soil will benefit you and your garden over time.

About the Author

Ari Koufos

I have been selling Real Estate in the Greater Boston Area since 1997. I am the Co-Founder & Current Broker/Owner of Realty Executives in Watertown. A lifelong resident of Watertown which I still reside with my Wife Debra and my Twins Emily & Christopher.  I am a  supporter of many local & national charities. One of my most rewarding fundraisers was as a rider in the PanMass Challenge in 2010,2011,2015 & 2016 raising over $50,000 over those 4 years for the Dana Farber Jimmy Fund. I am a 1988 Graduate of Bentley University in Waltham. I have extensive knowledge of all types of Real Estate participating in over 1000 transactions. I also have New Construction experience & specialize in condo conversions.  

Purchasing a home is one of the single most important investments in a person's life. With my expertise and guidance in the home buying and selling process, I can help find the most appropriate home for you. You can be assured that an experienced Real Estate Professional is working with your interests in mind. Please contact me on my cell at 617-799-8948 for a free consult if you are thinking of Buying or Selling your home.