Building up your garden’s soil is the best way to make your garden thrive this year. As we grow plants in our gardens year after year the soil breaks down and needs help to provide your garden with what it needs. If you are growing a garden to feed your family or even to make a little extra money from your garden it is important to have great soil. Building up your soil is an easy taste that has a great reward. Fall is a great time to build up your soil for next year.
Compost, compost, compost for the best garden soil
Adding great compost to your soil is an amazing way to build up your soil quickly. Check your local Craigslist for a deal on mushroom compost. This strong compost is often sold by the truckload or large feed bags for cheap. Mushroom compost is high in salt so it is best to add to established plants rather than germinating seeds. This is a great start for any canning garden.
If you would rather DIY your compost you can reduce kitchen waste and get great compost for your garden with a little work. A rotating composting bin can be a bit of an investment at around $100 but, you make your money back over the life of the bin while taking care of your compost and protecting it from critters easy.
Some kitchen items can go right into the garden as they are. Every morning I take our coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, and banana peels cut up right out to the garden beds. Whenever we are out and decide to grab a fun coffee we stop by Starbucks to see if they have any free bags of coffee grounds available. Learn more about what to compost for a thriving garden.
Give animal fertilizer a go for great soil
When it comes to fertilizer animals are your best friend. For most animals, you need to let the manure sit for several weeks to keep from burning your plants. Tossing chicken manure into your compost or if you have chickens you can start composting where you let them run is a great way to take advantage of your chickens. If you are lucky enough to have a rabbit or a friend with one you have found a gold mine for your garden. Rabbit manure does NOT need to sit before it goes into the garden allowing you to put it to work around your plants right away.
Mix in organic matter to build the best garden soil
Mixing organic matter into your soil improves drainage and as it breaks down leaves behind nutrients for your garden. A great way to add organic matter to your garden is to mix in yard waste from grass clippings to small broken twigs. In the fall as your garden comes down for the season you can mix plant stalks, and fallen leaves into the soil to break down over the winter leaving you with well-draining soil packed with great things for the new growing season. Using small sticks, dry grass, and fall leaves to add organic matter to your garden can help you save money on your garden.
Plant nitrogen enriching plants
Growing plants that replenish your soil is a great way to keep your garden going strong. Planting deep-rooted plants help pull nutrients up from deep within the ground. Growing comfrey in your garden allows you to pull minerals from as low as 8 to 10 feet underground. Comfrey has plenty of medicinal uses for around the home. Cover crops are a great way to put nitrogen back into the soil. You can grow green beans and peas as great edible cover crops perfect for replenishing the garden soil. This can save soil that has taken a beating from growing things like potatoes and other root vegetables.
Add Calcium to your garden for stronger plants
Calcium is important to add to your soil to help plants like tomatoes grow tall and strong. Adding calcium to your garden can be an easy task that will help all of your plants grow stronger and help put calcium into the good you grow so your family can be healthy too. Egg shells and powdered milk are just two great ways to add calcium to your garden.
Let worms build the best garden soil
To really give your garden soil a boost add live worms. Worms help aerate the soil giving roots room to grow while composting organic material in your soil. Worms make it easier for your plant to take advantage of the nutrients. If you are starting a compost bin you can also add some worms to that to help break everything down faster. For this, do a bit of research on how to keep the ratio ideal for your worms.