Dark, rich topsoil mixed with compost.

Build Your Soil

Are you looking to take your gardening game to the next level? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced home gardener, one of the best ways to make sure that your plants flourish is through building strong, healthy soil. With some simple steps and materials, you can build up rich soil perfect for growing any kind of plant. Read our guides to learn about how to create a better garden bed – starting with creating great dirt for healthy roots!

How to Start a Worm Farm at Home: Learn About Vermiculture

A close up horizontal image of a mass of earthworms in a worm farm in moist soil.

Vermiculture is a smart and easy solution for turning daily kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost to feed your house and garden plants with. A small space for a bin setup, some shredded paper, food scraps, and a few select worms can get you started. Learn how to start a worm farm for rich vermicompost in this guide.

Can You Compost Diseased Plants?

A close up horizontal image of a gardener's hands digging a compost pile.

Is it okay to use diseased leaves in compost? Composting can provide beneficial microbial life that greatly reduces certain plant pathogens while others may persist. Pathogenic species are numerous and diverse, and this guide discusses how different species are affected by different kinds of compost. Read more now.

How to Compost Wood Ashes

A close up of a metal bucket full of wood ashes from the fireplace, with a small shovel and cultivator, set on a lawn.

Unsure of what to do with that growing heap of ashes by the fireplace? Why not try composting them. Composting wood ash is an easy and effective way to increase the pH of acidic soil and add nutrients such as calcium and potassium. Read on to learn how and when to use wood ashes in the compost and in your garden.

Cover Cropping 101: Learn How to Use Cover Crops in the Garden

A close up horizontal image of red clover planted in a field as a cover crop with blue sky in the background.

Cover crops offer a smart and sustainable way to produce healthy, vibrant soil for robust, happy plants without using synthetic fertilizers. They also control erosion, suppress weeds, bust pest cycles, and improve water retention. Learn all about the art and science of beneficial cover cropping right here.

How to Use Mulch for Low Maintenance Gardening

Two hands to the left of the frame, picking up mulch to place around the small plant in the center of the frame, soft focus green background of lawn, in light sunshine.

Wondering how to create a lush, healthy garden? Learn how to use a variety of mulch materials for the ultimate low maintenance garden. Mulching brings a host of benefits, improves soil quality, prevents weeds, and protects plants from drought. It is the perfect finishing touch to create a tidy garden. Read more now.

Why & How You Should Lime Your Lawn and Garden

Top down 1st person perspective of using a push spreader to apply lime on a lawn.

Should you lime your lawn this year? Find out how this natural conditioning agent may be beneficial. Understand the difference between calcitic and dolomitic varieties. Learn about factors that affect soil’s pH balance and discover the only reliable method for making an informed decision, right here on Gardener’s Path.

Learn How to Use Coconut Coir Products in the Garden

Strawberry plants in a hanging basket lined with a coconut coir mat.

Coconut coir is a fibrous material used to manufacture products like brooms and mats, as well as a host of soilless growing products. In its various forms you can use it to line planters, improve soil water retention and aeration, and support tropical plants like orchids. Learn its pros and cons now on Gardener’s Path.

11 of the Best Soil Test Kits for Evaluating Garden Soil

A close up horizontal image of a hand from the left of the frame holding up a handful of soil for testing.

Awareness of soil metrics such as pH and macronutrient concentrations can make a huge difference in your gardening efforts. In our roundup of the best soil test kits, we go over 11 of the top options currently available on the market and explain how to make the best selection for you and your plants. Read more now.

Get Your Garden Off to the Best Possible Start with a Soil Test

A human hand holds freshly dug soil.

Does your garden face the same issues year after year? The answer could be in your soil. Nutrient deficiencies, pH imbalances, texture, and the percentage of organic matter can all be revealed through a simple test. Collecting a sample and sending it off for professional analysis and advice is easier than you think.

Growing Borage as a Cover Crop and for Green Manure

A close up of the delicate blue flowers of Borago officinalis growing in the garden on a soft-focus background.

Ready to learn some new gardening uses for your beloved borage? This blue-flowered herb can be grown as a cover crop to improve your garden in a number of ways, from soil amendment to pest protection, and it can even be used as a green manure. Discover how to grow borage as a cover crop in your garden. Read more now.

A Plant Pick-Me-Up? Tips for Composting and Gardening with Coffee Grounds

A close up horizontal image of a gardener applying coffee grounds to a compost pile in the garden.

Coffee makes an outstanding hot drink, but what about using the spent grounds in the garden? These dregs are touted as a great fertilizer, mulch, and compost ingredient, but what does the science say? To find out if your notions about gardening with coffee grounds are on target – or a bit off center – keep reading now.

4 Easy Ways to Compost Banana Peels

A close up horizontal image of a bunch of bananas ripening on the tree pictured on a soft focus background.

Using kitchen scraps like nutritious banana peels to feed your plants is smart, easy, and a sustainable step toward zero waste. Breaking down quickly in compost bins, worm farms, and garden mulch, they can be brewed into a liquid fertilizer or dried for slow-release flakes. Discover 4 easy ways to compost banana peels.

Should You Rotate Cover Crops?

A close up horizontal image of arugula growing in the garden covered by a dusting of frost.

Both farmers and home gardeners are likely to find cover cropping a valuable practice. Sowing dense, fast-growing plants to cover fallow soil helps to control weed growth and inhibit erosion. The decaying plants improve soil structure and replenish nutrients. Read on and learn if it is beneficial to rotate cover crops.

Plant Nutrients: What They Need and When They Need It

Side-view of eight small bean plants beginning to sprout up in well-tilled, dark, rich soil.

Did you know that appearance, disease, growth stage, and more reveal what nutrients plants need? Like us, plants need a wide range of nutrients, and they can gain them from many sources. Learn how to master plant nutrients, diagnose deficiencies, and restore balance here at Gardener’s Path!

How to Use Eggshells in the Garden for Soil, Compost, and as Pest Control

A close up of shells of eggs mixed in with rich, dark soil in the garden.

Want to use eggshells in your garden? Learn the best techniques for breaking them down in your compost and using them as a soil amendment. And find out the truth about whether eggshells really repel garden pests. To learn more about turning eggshells into garden amendments instead of landfill waste, read more now.

How to Mix Your Own Bonsai Soil to Grow Healthy Plants

A close up horizontal image of an indoor gardener changing the soil in a bonsai plant.

It’s hard to overstate how important having healthy soil is to raising robust bonsai. Without a good foundation, bonsai can’t thrive. Creating your own bonsai substrate isn’t difficult or expensive, but it can make all the difference to your plant. Learn what comprises a healthy substrate and how to create your own.

15 of the Best Cover Crops for the Home Garden

A close up horizontal image of a spade digging a green manure crop into the soil.

Cover crops are easy, low maintenance plantings that produce fast, effective improvements to your garden soil. Among the many benefits, they prevent erosion, cycle important nutrients, improve soil texture, provide mulch, break pest cycles, and suppress weeds. Here are 15 of the best cover crops for the home garden.

How and When to Plant Cold Weather Cover Crops

A close up horizontal image of crops growing in a winter garden surrounded by snow.

Cover crops aren’t just for farmers. They’re easy, economical, and efficient for the home garden too. With many benefits, they’re a smart, natural method of protecting the soil, improving its structure, and increasing nutrients all at the same time. Learn how and when to plant cold weather cover crops. Read more now.

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Garden Soil

A close up of a potato fork stuck in the dirt in a garden setting.

Ready to learn how to get the most beautiful and productive results from your garden? Our article gets to the root of the problem. The soil type in your yard is the key to happy plants. From woodland to seashore and acid to alkaline, this piece will guide you to success. Read more on Gardener’s Path.

How to Change the Color of Hydrangea Flowers

A close up horizontal image of a flowering shrub growing in the garden with a park bench in the background, pictured in light filtered sunshine.

Certain species of hydrangea have the unique ability to change color from blue to pink and vice versa. With a bit of patience and diligent application of certain soil amendments, you can encourage your hydrangea flowers to change color. Learn why hydrangeas change color and how you can do it at home in this guide.

Composting Autumn Leaves: How to Use Leaves for Compost and Mulch

A close up horizontal image of a wheelbarrow with fresh compost in the garden, with a fork to the right of the frame, pictured in light sunshine.

When life gives you leaves, why not make compost? Autumn’s falling leaves are perfect for making a well-balanced compost bin. Often treated as “waste,” dead leaves are a valuable natural resource that you can turn into black gold for your garden. To learn how to create compost and mulch with fall leaves, keep reading.

How and When to Compost Tomato Plants

A close up of a garden fork stuck in a gray plastic backyard compost bin, containing garden waste, pictured in bright sunshine.

Whether or not to compost tomatoes is a controversial topic in the gardening world. Fears that composting tomatoes will encourage pathogens, create messes, and cause trouble the following season lead many gardeners to trash their plants. Read on to examine these concerns and learn how to safely compost tomato plants.

Winter Mulching to Protect Cold Tolerant Crops

Want to help your garden rest well this winter? Winter mulching is a great way to prolong harvests, improve soil quality, and protect overwintering plants by insulating soil with organic materials. Learn how to use mulch to better support perennials and annual crops this winter. Read more now.

The Benefits of Using Soil Inoculants and Microbes in the Garden

Graphic image of beneficial soil bacteria of different species.

Soil is naturally full of beneficial microbes and nematodes that can help to prevent or even control plant diseases. Did you know you can increase the numbers of these useful organisms and improve the health of your garden by adding them as soil inoculants? Learn more about these fungi, bacteria, and other beneficials.

Bone Meal: Friend or Foe? Learn How to Use It in Your Garden

A light green plastic bag of MiracleGro organic bone meal to the left of a pile of brown flower bulbs and a garden knife with an orange handle, in loose brown soil, with an evergreen in the background.

Have you heard of adding bone meal to the soil when planting flowers and vegetables? This organic fertilizer is rich in phosphorus and calcium, nutrients essential for healthy roots, foliage, flowers, and produce. Is it the right amendment for your garden? Learn how to be sure, right here on Gardener’s Path.

Teaming with Microbes: A Fresh Review for Today’s Gardeners

Close up of a white beneficial fungus spreading across the soil.

Teaming With Microbes was a landmark guide for raising awareness of the soil food web in 2006 – and promoting more environmentally aware, chemical-free gardening techniques – fueling an organic food revolution. Does it still apply today? Read more on Gardener’s Path now, and find out why you should toss out those chemical pesticides and fertilizers!

The Basics of Composting

Compost with Kitchen Scraps | GardenersPath.com

Have you decide to make the jump to a more organic lifestyle & want to know how to recycle your kitchen waste into compost? Read our guide and find out.