For an organic gardener, good-quality soil is the foundation of successful gardening. Your plants are continually extracting nutrients from the ground, so you need to make sure that you are maintaining soil quality by regularly mixing through organic mulch or compost. Old leaves and grass clippings as well as other garden matter make great mulch, while you can easily create your own compost by emptying kitchen scraps into a compost bin and letting nature do the work. Quality soil is dark, sweet-smelling and neither too hard nor too crumbly. Remember, too, that finding worms in your soil is a great indication that it is healthy and nutrient-rich.
However, not all soils are created equal: climate and regional soil types differ, and these can have a big impact on quality. For some soils, mulch and compost aren’t enough to ensure great gardening results. If you find this is the case for you, the first thing to do is get your soil tested by a laboratory. If you are having trouble finding one in your local area, try asking at your garden supplies store. Once you get your results back you will have a clear picture of what your soil needs. For instance, it might be either too acid or too alkaline, or deficient or even overly rich in certain nutrients and these problems will need correcting. Luckily, there are plenty of organic soil improvers like phosphates and bonemeal that will do the job.