How to be a Great Little Gardener Episode 4: Organic Matter Matters


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So far you have gathered your garden tools, got to know the basic plant types and figured out what kind of soil you have. Now, it's time to look at compost - or organic matter. Have a look at Phil's homemade compost, ideal for adding to your soil to encourage healthy, happy plants.

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The success of your garden and your plants depends on the soil, and matching plants to the right soil. Now, geologists will have hundreds of different soil types, but for gardeners you probably need to know three.

The first one is clay soil. If you have got this, you have got a soil that, when it rains, gets water logged. When it dries it cracks and, like this one, you can almost make your own clay pots out of it. It is solid and hard to work.

At the other end of the spectrum, you might have sandy soil, look at that. It's free draining, so water will run through that. It's lovely for lavenders. But it doesn’t keep many nutrients in it, so it could actually create hungry plants and your plants may just start to look a bit yellow after a time.

The mid-ground, the perfect soil, loamy soil. It has got lots of organic matter in there. It has got a little bit of clay content and a little bit of sand. So, it holds water but doesn’t get water logged, it holds nutrients so it doesn’t get hungry and it grows fantastic plants, usually.

But whatever soil you have got, you can improve it and that is done with bulky, organic matter. Your home-made compost, but that is a whole different story. (see episode 4)

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