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 oil breaks down and needs help to provide your garden with what it needs. Building up your soil is an easy taste that has a great reward.
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 making 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.
Give animal fertilizer a go for great soil
When it comes to fertilizer animal poop takes the cake. 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 have to sit before it goes into the garden allowing you to put it to work around your plants right away.
Mix in organic matter
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.
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 and 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 garden soil that has taken a beating from growing things like potatoes and other root vegetables.