How Do You Know If Your Garden Soil Needs More Nutrients? The Top 4 Signs

How Do You Know If Your Garden Soil Needs More Nutrients? The Top 4 Signs

Joe SkinnerMay 4, '20

It’s not always easy to tell if your garden soil is healthy. Whether you’re a new gardener or a seasoned veteran working in a new patch of soil, you may be wondering if your garden soil has enough nutrients – or if it needs some compost or chemical fertilizer to help improve its nutritional composition.

So in this blog, we’ll look at the top 4 signs that your garden soil may need a little bit of extra TLC to reach its full potential.

Look At Your Plants

Your plants are the best indicator of your level of garden soil nutrients. Look out for:

  • Yellowed plants, which can indicate nitrogen deficiencies
  • Purple or dark-green plants with “burnt” leaves, which can indicate a phosphorous deficiency
  • Curled, “burnt” leaves with purplish spots on the underside, which can indicate potassium deficiencies.
  • Stunted or poor growth, or plants that look withered or unhealthy

Taste Test Your Vegetables

If your vegetables just don’t taste right, this may mean something is off about your soil’s nutrient levels. Your taste buds are a good indicator of the health of your plants – and your soil.

For example, carrots grown in soil deficient in potassium, will have a strange taste and look misshapen. Cabbage grown in nutrient-deficient soil will look yellow and taste bitter, and lettuce leaves may turn white around the edges and lack a solid “snap” when you bite into them. If your vegetables aren’t turning out right, it’s a good idea to investigate the health of your soil.

Check For Earthworms & Insects

Healthy soil is usually full of earthworms, grubs, and other little insects and organisms that feed on decaying matter and create nutrient-rich soil with their waste. If you’ve noticed a lack of activity in your garden and a few worms and insects, this may indicate that your soil needs to be enriched to ensure your plants thrive.

Look At The Results Of A Soil Test

At-home soil tests can tell you about the pH of your garden, provide you with a nutrient profile, and identify deficiencies that may require you to add compost or chemical fertilizer. They’re available at most garden and home improvement stores, and are very easy to use.

Need Help With Your Garden Soil? Come To The Soil King!

At The Soil King, we’re experts in garden soil – it’s in our name, after all! So if you’re having issues with your harvest and suspect your soil is to blame, come to our garden center, send us a message online, or give us a call at 707-894-3500  to discuss your problems with one of our staff members and find a solution to your issue.