Soil Testing in Urban Gardens: Do We Need It?

by on January 19, 2012

UrbanFig: SoilYou’re excited to get things growing in your new urban garden. You buy the best seeds, start them at the right time and even remember to water them – most of the time. Now there’s something else you’ve got to think about? The answer is yes.

Even if the soil in your urban garden looks ok, there could be chemicals there that could do more harm than good to your garden plants and to your family if you eat them.  We talked about soil pH and how to test soil in a previous post, but it is equally important to know the content of your soil, for better or for worse. In that earlier article I told you to get your soil tested through your local cooperative extension, which usually charges a nominal fee. What’s important to remember is that even if there are problems with your soil like lead or petrochemicals, you can still grow a vibrant and healthy urban garden by using raised beds.

I talked quite a bit about raised bed gardening in my book “I GARDEN: Urban Style” and with good reason – it is one of the most popular gardening methods out there. The benefits are numerous, but more than anything you can control the soil, ensuring that it is chemical free and organic. If you’re in the market for a great organic soil option, check out Happy Frog in our shop. It contains beneficial microbes to keep your soil alive, healthy and perfect for growing your favorite urban garden veggies.

Whether you decide to go with a raised bed garden or not, don’t neglect to get your soil tested. You can garden in almost any conditions, but you have to know what you’re dealing with. You owe it to yourself and your family.

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