Secrets to a Successful Garden: Prepare the Soil

There is a lot of attention being given to organic gardening lately.  I think back to the garden of my grandparents and they always grew the largest cucumbers, melons, beans, corn etc and never do I remember them mixing chemical fertilizers or pesitcides to put into their flower beds or gardens.  So what was their secret to such a successful garden?

  • Start with Good Soil.   This is the most important step in gardening.  Good soil leads to healthy plants and healthy plants resist drought, disease & pests, so you won’t need to buy sprays, dusts and other chemicals for your garden.

  •  Fertilizing the soil is one area that we will spend time and money on.   Attaining good soil is not something that happens overnight, but every year the soil gets better and better with composting.  The produce gets better every year because of the soil.

  • We usually find a farmer that has grass fed cows that doesn’t mind us getting a truckload of cow manure.   The farmers we know have piles that have been sitting for years.  This is what you want, the aged stuff.   Be very careful not to get what is called “hot compost”  or the fresh stuff,  this will burn the plants in your garden, killing them.


 Mix the compost into the soil with a shovel or a tiller.  The compost, peat moss, and sand all help to aerate and drain  the soil.  Roots like aerated soil, full of nutrients and water, plus, it makes planting easier.   The simplicity of organic gardening makes it an extremely frugal way to garden.   There is no need for fancy fertilizer and treatments that cost so much!

Here’s some tools to get you started!


GreenWorks 27012 8 AMP Corded AC Cultivator – $139.97


Black & Decker GC818 18-Volt Cordless Garden Cultivator$94.41



Garden Weasel 90206 Original Garden Weasel – $29.69

Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces – $15.09

Garden Book1

Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook$11.42

So now that your garden is ready for planting, what are you going to plant?


  • Kristina

    Hi, I find using “cow waste” gross! Why do people use this and what are the benefits of it compared to Miracle Grow or something? Isn’t that like eating the cow waste if it goes through the plant?

    • Kearna

      It isn’t like eating cow waste because any impurities are filtered out naturally from the plant itself. Actually if you look up the ingredients for the Miracle Grow potting mix one of the ingredients in the mix is animal manure, along with leaves, grass clipping etc. but Miracle grow is much more expensive.

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