A Nutrient Synthesized In Good Amounts By From Animals Mostly Simple Ways to Improve Your Garden Soil

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Simple Ways to Improve Your Garden Soil

Few of us have ideal garden soil, but there are easy ways to improve what you have. Adding soil amendments and soil fertilizers will improve the texture and structure of your soil and provide usable nutrients for your plants.

Adding organic matter to your garden soil will add much of what is needed for sandy soil, or help with drainage if you have clay soil. It can hold moisture better, help improve the ease with which the soil can be worked, and will add some nutrients to your soil.

I recommend adding 3-4 inches of organic matter to your garden beds each year. This will give you a healthier and more productive vegetable garden. The following soil amendments will help you build healthier soil.

Here are some common organic soil amendments:

compote it will add organic matter to your soil and can be made in your backyard compost bin, worm compost bins or purchased.

peat moss it will help increase moisture retention and improve sandy soil.

Animal manure it will add some nutrients and bulk to your soil. Use well-rotted manure; fresh manure will burn the plants. The best time to apply is in the fall or very early spring and dig under it thoroughly to prevent any seeds that may be in it from sprouting.

Seaweed will add nitrogen, potash and trace minerals to your soil. Fresh seaweed can be collected from the beach. It is usually more abundant in autumn, however be careful how much you take as it contains organisms that are important to marine life. Dried seaweed is available at most garden centers.

Sawdust, wood chips or straw it will increase most of your land. More suitable for clay soil to make it easier

Green waste are plants that grow in the fall and are cultivated in the early spring, often called cover crops. Some examples are buckwheat, clover, fava beans, fall rye, field peas, hairy vetch, and oats. This will add bulk to your soil which can improve drainage and aeration. Some varieties will add nitrogen to your soil.

Soil fertility is constantly changing due to digging or tillage, nutrient-using plants, runoff from rainfall, and wind blowing.

There are two categories of fertilizers, organic and inorganic. There has been much debate as to which is better. Choosing which ones you use is a matter of personal preference. I personally believe and have had the best results following organic practices. For me this is the only way to go.

Here’s the difference:

Soil organic fertilizers:

1. some examples are cottonseed meal, blood meal, bone meal, rock phosphate, greensand

2. Each of them is high in one of the key nutrients in your soil

3. it takes longer to reach your plants, however they are improving your garden soil

Inorganic soil fertilizers:

1. called chemical fertilizers

2. are slow or released in time

3. can reach the plant faster than organic fertilizers, however they do not improve your soil fertility

Here are the top 3 nutrients your vegetable plants need and they usually need to be added every year. It is best to add them in the spring before you start planting seeds or transplants. Dig the compost into the soil to a depth of 6 to 12 inches so that nutrients are available to the plant’s root system.

Nitrogen (N)

• promotes the growth of leaves and stems

• gives the plant its green color

• controls oxygen levels in plants

• plants need and use a large amount

• storm drains

Sources: blood meal, cottonseed, fish meal, cocoa shells, animal manure

How much to add?

o Low nitrogen add 5 pounds per 100 square feet

o average nitrogen add 2.5 pounds per 100 square feet

o Keep nitrogen good, add 1 pound per 100 square feet

Phosphorus (P)

• promotes seed germination, fruit growth, flowering and healthy roots

• gives winter hardiness to autumn plantings

• plants need this in reasonable amounts

Sources: bone meal, rock phosphate, animal manure, fish emulsion

How much to add?

o low phosphorus add 6 pounds per 100 square feet

o average phosphorus add 2.5 pounds per 100 square feet

o Maintain good phosphorus, add 1 pound per 100 square feet

Potassium also known as potash (K)

• promotes new leaves and buds, root growth and seed production

• improves the taste of fruits and vegetables

Sources: potash rock, wood ash, greensand

How much to add?

o with little potassium add 10 pounds per 100 square feet

o average potassium add 5 pounds per 100 square feet

o save potassium well, add 2.5 pounds per 100 square feet

If you don’t want to go the route of buying and fertilizing with several different items, there are some excellent organic fertilizers on the market.

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