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Most of us are aware that the basic needs of our vegetables gardens are water, air, and light. The role healthy soil plays in having a flourishing vegetable garden is often overlooked. Soil should be taken into account before you plant anything. We suggest that you try out this quick, simple and (yes, messy) sausage test, to find out whether your soil is suitable for planting. If it isn’t, don’t worry as we have some simple tips on how you can remedy poor soil that isn’t ideal or suitable for planting.

There are three types of soil-Sandy, Loam and Clay, with the most ideal for planting being Loam.

How will you know which category yours falls under, here’s how you do it with the sausage test:

  • Wet a small part your veggie patch or the area in which you’re planting
  • Make a sausage shape with your muddy soil
  • Then bend it.
  • If it bends but doesn’t break at all / continues holding shape, it means that your soil is clay.
  • If it breaks or has a crumbly texture before it even bends, it means that your soil is sandy.
  • If it holds shape and still breaks slightly, then it is loam, which is just right.

Sandy soil is porous and isn’t optimal for planting. When watering your garden Sandy soil loses the water rapidly and the plants are unable to use it. Clay soil in contrast is compact. This means that when you water plants in Clay soil the water doesn’t have space to go anywhere so it accumulates in one place (usually in the roots) and the roots of your plants will rot.

Now, what to do to remedy sandy soil:

Add lots of compost and work it into your soil before planting. The compost not only gives your soil a nutrition boost, it also helps retain the moisture so that it doesn’t “leave” quickly.

To remedy clay soil:

Add sandy soil and compost and work it into your soil before planting. This way you have the perfect mix of good and nutritious soil.

You can also purchase our Organic Soil Food that contains Dolomitic Lime, Vermiculite, Vita Veg, and Fertilis. This formula was made specifically for Reel Gardening by Talborne Organics, and it creates the perfect environment for a thriving vegetable garden in any type of soil.