I Can’t Grow Anything In My Soil – What Do I Do?

There’s lots of advice out there on what to do when growing in different types of soil.

If you find that you can’t grow anything in your soil – give this guide a quick read.


Summary – What To Do If You Can’t Grow Anything In Your Soil

There’s two ways to answer this question …

1. Consider the other factors that contribute to growing plant life

Soil is not the only factor that contributes to plant growth.

The plant itself, and climate other some of the other main factors.

You might for example live in a colder climate and be trying to grow plants that need warm temperatures and lots of sunlight.

So, consider the full list of factors that contribute to plant growth before you determine that your soil is the problem.


2. Consider that the effort and time you have to spend amending your natural soil might not be worth it

It’s absolutely possible to amend and improve soil.

There’s several ways to do this including but not limited to:

Adding organic matter (compost, manure etc.) to improve nutrient supply

Adding fertilizer to improve supply of nitrogen and other nutrients

Adding other soil types to the existing soil to improve soil texture, structure and drainage

Adding mulch surface layers to improve water retention and structure

Adding various materials and soil amendments to increase or decrease the soil pH

+ much more


However, there are instances where, due to having an extreme soil type (such as heavy clay), lacking gardening knowledge, or another factor – you are going to spend a tremendous amount of time and money trying to improve your soil for minimal results.

Some people have found that adding sand to clay has hardened the clay up – just as one example.

And, if you go the route of adding organic matter for better soil structure – this still takes time to see results.

Read more about two different people’s experiences growing in extreme clay soils here:

  • http://www.provident-living-today.com/Types-of-Soil.html
  • https://empressofdirt.net/best-vegetables-clay-soils/

In instances where you believe that your soil is unworkable, or you don’t want to risk money and time trying to amend it (or you want to start growing straight away) – you may look at the option of raised garden beds with imported soil instead.


How To Test Your Soil

You can very easily go to a local gardening shop/nursery and ask professionals about the local area and their opinion on what is the best plant life to be growing in what conditions.

But, short of that – there are many tests you can do on soil with soil testing kits, getting professionals in to test your garden and give you a soil amendment plan, and even test the soil with your eyes and hands.



1. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/how-to-know-what-can-grow-in-your-garden-soil/

2. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/all-the-factors-that-affect-the-growth-of-plants/ 

3. http://www.provident-living-today.com/Types-of-Soil.html

4. https://empressofdirt.net/best-vegetables-clay-soils/ 

5. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/how-to-test-soil-for-type-ph-moisture-nutrients-more/

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