You may spend time buying seeds and plants for your vegetable garden and dreaming about when you are going to pick the fresh vegetables. But you don’t think about your soil! Maybe you did and are having problems that don’t involve garden pests such as slugs etc. So the problem may be your soil. Make sure you know the signs of bad soil and what can cause it before you start planting in your garden. Below are some indications of bad soil and how to fix it:

Low Nitrogen

If your leaves are low on the plant itself and are discolouring or falling off the soil, it is more than lightly low in Nitrogen. Add compost to the soil and to should fix the issue for you.

Low Phosphorous

If your plants look a purple colour then they are probably low in phosphorous. This can happen because of the temperature of the soil. And because of the temperature of the soil the phosphorous is unable to be released to help the plant even though it’s probably there. Use mulch as this will increase the temperature in the soil and help release the phosphorous.

Too much Nitrogen

If you have lush foliage, little or no fruit, this may be because you have too much nitrogen. You may also notice your leaves are wilting downwards and are yellow or have brown burnt areas on your lower leaves; these are other signs of too much nitrogen. You can fix this with some mulch but go slowly. You can also bring down the level of nitrogen by planting vegetables like corn, cabbage and broccoli.


Vegetables need pollination in order to grow fruit.  If your plants are not producing but still blooming you may need more bees and birds. Plant flowers around the border in your garden.


Puddles of water are not good for your garden. If you live in a climate where there is lots of rain you will understand the problem. Sometimes gardeners that are eager to start their gardens in spring can deal with this sort of problem. You will know if your soil is ready after the spring by taking a handful and squeezing it. If water starts dripping from your hand then you may need to aerate the soil.

Test your soil

The best thing to do is to have your soil tested or do it yourself. Some garden centres will test your samples of soil or another option is to buy a kit and do it yourself.