While many gardeners would not describe these five soil additives as secret, they are certainly natural which is always a good thing. This article is by someone who started her gardening life using artificial fertilizers and pesticides, but as she learned more changed her attitude and behaviour. I came across this article by Shawna Coronado on the Better Homes and Gardens website.
Eleven years ago I was a ?traditional gardener?, meaning I used the traditionally advertised products on the market that were filled with chemicals to treat my garden. This led to over-fertilizing and using chemical pesticides regularly. Bottom line: I wantonly abandoned the idea of doing healthy things for my garden in favor of what the media told me I should do. At that time I would consider my garden an average garden even with all of my chemical efforts. Then one season a friend of mine suggested I grow in an environmentally healthy fashion and stop listening to the hype. I thoroughly researched the importance of how to go chemical free and gradually converted my entire property over to about 98.9% organic and natural. An amazing and surprising thing happened in response to that changeover ? my garden grew more beautiful, astounding, and lush than it had ever been when I used all those chemical solutions.
The secret for using less chemicals and pesticides in your garden is this: good soil grows healthy plant roots. With healthy plant roots you have strong plants that can survive tough conditions. Over the last ten years I have discovered what type of amendments work best in gardens nationwide and in my own garden. I have my favorite list of five all natural products and organic matter that really work well in my front lawn vegetable garden (seen in the photo above) and in gardens all across the country.
5 Amazing Soil Additives
Without a doubt, rotted manure is an important organic amendment for your soil because of its nutrient rich content which is the basis for building a strong structure of carbon compounds within the soil. Be sure that the manure is well rotted or it will burn your plants. You can get it in bagged form at your local garden center or find a farmer nearby. Be advised that manure from a farmer sometimes contains grass and weed seed. I add a generous amount of well rotted manure to the garden soil before I plant a garden, then again annually as a top dressing around plants.
Worm castings is worm poop ? that?s right ? worm poop. Like rotted manure, worm castings create a strong soil structure and add beneficial biology to the root zone of your plants. Worm castings help hold moisture so you water less. Mix ? cup of worm castings into the soil planting hole for each plant. I use Organic Mechanics worm castings which are OMRI and Organic certified (below you see a mix of rotted manure and worm castings added to my spring front lawn vegetable garden).
See more at Better Homes and Gardens