So, to sum up last week…. soil is ALIVE! It is an ECOSYSTEM that needs the proper care to ensure your plants get the most out of it. This means LOTS of organic AMEND and NO chemicals. Since we are nurturing a soil food web, we will need to ensure proper aeration and drainage along with a proper balance of nutrients for your plants (… and Tomatomania Tomatoes of course!) to thrive.
To do this, our job is to AMEND. It is important to do this each time you plant and at the very least, once a year. The amendments listed below are available at your independent local nursery, come in bags, and will not only add the beneficial microorganisms we want for our ecosystem, but will feed the ones we already have! How cool is that? I think of amend for soil like yogurt for humans…full of living goodness that keeps things in balance.
Preparation is key! Adding amendment to your garden now, will allow for the soil to improve in time for spring planting. Of course, most of us wait till we have the plants to add good amendments, but a little advanced planning and amending goes a long way! Why not go to the nursery this weekend and start feeding that SOIL!
Choose from the list below and remember to read the label to ensure proper proportions:
Organic Soil Amendments:
· Compost. Purchase at your favorite garden center or make your own. Either way it is a great investment for the health of your soil. I use a product called Malibu Compost…best money can buy! Best for veggie gardens. A little goes a long way.
|Malibu Compost: don't start a garden without it!|
· Worm Castings: a little goes a long way when it comes to the nutrient rich natural product. Your plants will love you for it. Great for all garden plants.
· Manures: Composted cow or chicken manure is the age-old natural way to fertilize and energize your soil. Great for roses, lawns and landscape plants. Use compost for veggies.
· Bone Meal: this natural source of nutrient is essential if you wish to prevent blossom end rot. Just a heaping handful per plant will do in the hole when you plant. Great for all plants, but especially bulbs and container plants.
· Blended Amendments: these will include peat, composted forest products, kelp, bat guano….the list goes on and on. These will come blended together. These say Potting Soil, Soil Amendment, Soil Booster, and Planting Mix on the label.
|Native soil is lacking in organic material. This new garden has lots of compost and blended amendments added to boost the soil food web.|
Once amended and planted, it is important to FERTILIZE throughout the growing season. I advocate using a natural product, and will include more details in a future post. It is that EASY! You are now on your way to a healthy and happy soil food web that will give you that gorgeous, healthy landscape of plants and the best tasting veggies + tomatoes on the block!