In order to thrive, plants require nutrients. They get these nutrients and minerals mainly from the soil, but sometimes plants can soak up all the nutrients, leaving the soil like a barren wasteland. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the goal is to keep your garden soil stocked up so your plants don’t starve.
It’s not as difficult or tedious as it sounds. So, if you want to give your plants the best chance at survival, check out four ways you can improve your soil quality below!
Fertilizer is the simplest way to improve your soil. It usually comes from the manure of farm animals like cows, pigs, horses, chickens, and even bats. According to Do It Yourself, you should not use manure from carnivorous animals. You also have to let it dry before composting it, and make sure you mix it really well into the soil several weeks before planting.
Compost is always your friend. While fertilizer feeds your plants directly, compost feeds the soil and generally adds to the soil’s food web. It’s ideal for long-term plant growth. Compost is comprised of organic matter that provides nitrogen and potassium for the soil. It also encourages microorganisms and worms to live there, which will break down nutrients for the plants and act as natural aerators. You can make compost from things like vegetable scraps and leaves.
You might not have thought that ash from the logs you burn in fire could be put to use, but alas, they can. The ash actually provides nutrients and will soak up any toxins in the soil. Do It Yourself also suggests to take clumps of charcoal and work it into the soil.
Green manure is actually a type of plant that you raise and just plow it back into the soil for nutrients. Green manure plants include alfalfa, clover, buckwheat, soybean, and many more. You should plant them in the fall, so that when spring comes they will be fully grown and ready to be plowed back into the earth.