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Winter preparation for home gardens

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:56 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - For those who love gardening, winter may be a slow time of year, but there are things you can do to prepare your soil for the spring. Experts say extensive soil testing for your garden at home is not necessary. They recommend doing your own testing to quickly find a solution to three problems you may run into. Organic matter, salt, and acidity are common problems you can find in your home garden.

“Sometimes what it needs is some rest time and winter can give it that if we do some of our soil work over the winter and let stuff sit then by spring we’re ready to go. Instead of in April trying to do our soil prep and then do our planting,” said Program Coordinator at Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Sarah Buckley.

Compaction and dead soils can be resolved by adding compost or wood chips to decompose and mix into the soil. For any concerns with salt you can place plants that are tolerant to high salt. Acidity can be resolved as well by placing plants that are tolerant of acidity or by using a test you can make yourself.

“Anywhere that sells fish tank supplies, they sell litmus paper - the little PH test paper - you can mix some soil with some water, dip the paper in there,” said Buckley.

Buckley also recommends not waiting until the spring when soil can potentially be too wet.

“If you know you have a problem area, spend the winter doing research and find those plants that want to thrive in this. Some plants that’s not a problem, it’s their ideal environment,” said Buckley.

For more information on tips and tricks for your soil and garden go to plantnebraska.org.

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