How To Enrich Your Garden Soil

Jan 8th, 2014 | By | Category: Organic Vegetable Articles

The beginning gardener may go out and spend a lot of money buying products to enrich the soil in their garden. But this is not necessary. You can save a lot by making your own compost or finding a free or low cost source. Nature recycles decayed plant and animal material to enrich new plant growth. You can do the same.

What can go into your homemade compost? Almost any organic material. You can put in kitchen scraps and leftovers, the leaves you raked and the grass clippings left from mowing the lawn. You can build your own compost pile. You can also purchase a composting barrel from the store, which makes it easier to turn the compost. When the compost is matured, it is a fine black soil that will work wonders for your garden.

You can obtain a bale or two of straw for a few dollars, and this can help you mulch your vegetable garden. Mulch keeps the weeds down. Those garden rows may seem easy for the first month or so. But if the weeds get started, you can have a time-consuming job keeping them under control. Mulch can save you from this. It also helps keep moisture in the soil. Don’t use hay, though, as a mulch, because it has too many seeds in it and will only add to your weed problems.

Many cities and towns compost the leaves and grass trimmings they pick up. Most will make this composted material available to you at little or no cost. You just need to go and pick it up. Some localities provide mulch as well.

You can use some of the techniques farmers use to keep soil nutrient levels high. For instance, planting a crop of red clover will fix a good supply of nitrogen into the soil, as well as providing good feed for livestock. This may not be feasible unless you are gardening on a large scale. If you have a large field to use, you may find you can rotate crops this way to good advantage.

You can also follow the lead of farmers in using cow, sheep or horse manure to fertilize your garden. These are especially rich fertilizers but must decay long enough to be usable. Check with your local farmer as to how old any manure is that you get from him. It needs at least a year or two to mature.

You will also want to pay attention to the PH of your soil. A soil sample at the beginning of your gardening venture will tell you what you have to work with. If it is too acidic, apply some lime. If it is unbalanced in the other direction, apply an acidic substance. Sawdust and pine needles are acidic. It is a good idea to check the soil PH each year or two before you plant. Also, some plants like one PH and some another, so you may want to adjust for it. Tomatoes, for instance, tend to like a more acidic soil The right PH can help produce a bountiful crop.

This article can help you get started with enriching your garden soil. A little effort can result in a richer crop of vegetables.

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