Healthy soil is the key to a successful gardening season. Because the soil in your garden is not just any mud. It is alive. An unimaginable number of tiny living organisms ensure that dead plants are broken down and nutrients are returned to the soil. The interactions between these organisms, the inanimate mineral parts of the soil and the plants are very complex. Even science is not completely clear about many of these processes. However, there are a few very simple things you can do to ensure healthy soil life.
To find out what kind of soil you have, you can look for pointer plants and do a simple soil test. With this article we will give you specific tips on how to improve your specific soil. In this article we will show you general tips that are good for just about all soils.
Mulch is the term used to describe a layer of organic material. Such a layer of mulch has many advantages. In addition to the pleasant effect of less weeds growing, it protects the soil surface from drying out and also ensures that the soil inhabitants always have enough to eat. In addition to bark mulch available at hardware stores, basically anything made of dead plant material is suitable for mulching.
Organic fertilizers ensure that your soil becomes looser over time and absorbs moisture better and holds it longer. In addition to the direct effect of fertilizing, which is increased plant growth, you’re doing your soil some good at the same time because microorganisms love organic material. Since many nutrients in organic fertilizers are in the form of more complex molecules, they are only released after a while, when the soil organisms have converted the fertilizer. Therefore, organic fertilizers tend to have a more long-term effect than mineral fertilizers.
If you have completely harvested your beds in the fall, it is worthwhile to plant an intercrop, such as mustard. Intercrops ensure that the soil does not lie fallow over winter or between crops. In extreme weather events, such as heavy rain, wind or drought, the soil is protected from erosion. Also, the nutrients are not washed out and you can use the intercrop as mulch for your next crop.
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