Most of California is still suffering from drought conditions. We all can work to reduce water use while still growing a healthy garden, with drought conditions in mind. Click here to read more about Water-wise Gardening. Because spring is in the air and we are discussing soil preparation and health, we wanted to offer a few tips to help you conserve water by improving your soil.

Prepare your soil

Add Compost: adding compost or organic matter to soil not only to adds nutrients but also helps conserve water. Compost improves water and air circulation in the soil, keeping soil from getting compacted. It also regulates sandy soil, keeping water and nutrients from slipping away. Organic matter is the best way to improve soil texture.

Add Mulch: Mulch comes in many forms- compost, straw, bark chips and more- and all of it can be helpful to conserve water in the garden. Mulch acts as a soil insulator, locking moisture in and cooling soil temperatures. By adding a few inches of mulch around the base of your plants and throughout your planting beds, you can conserve water and save money. It also keeps the weeds down! We carry an assortment of fir bark in many sizes, as well as shredded cedar.

Improve Drainage: Compacted soil can lead to poor plant growth and water waste. Look to see where water pools and remains in your lawn and garden. Improve the soil in those areas by aerating and adding organic matter.

Use Organic Low-Nitrogen Fertilizer: Try using a low-nitrogen organic fertilizer on your lawn and garden this year. Organic nitrogen sources take a bit longer to break down and become usable to plants. There is lower risk of burning plants and it does not cause an immediate boom in growth that requires increased water usage. We carry EB Stone Ultra Bloom 0-10-10, which is perfect for organic gardening.

Come talk to the friendly staff at Evergreen Nursery to get more soil tips this spring! And come to our free workshop: “Planting during a Drought Period” Saturday March 8th at 1pm. Learn more here.