Soil is the foundation of your garden. You should be doing everything you can to improve it.
What does it take to improve your soil? How do you know if you have good or bad soil?
Composting had been around a long time. Even Thomas Jefferson knew the value of soil improvement at Monticello. Noting the difficulty of moving manure from the barns to the fields, he decided to station the cattle in the fields for long periods of time. The plan was to have “a moveable cow house” set up in the middle of the field so he could take advantage of their droppings.
It may not be practical for you to have cattle standing in the middle of your garden, but you can take advantage of adding compost in the same way.
A compost pile is a replication of the natural process that takes place almost everywhere.
“In good garden soils, the individual particles of sand, clay and silt will naturally group together into larger units called aggregates. This process is necessary to a good garden soil, since it promotes aeration and water drainage. The ideal garden soil has a granular, or a crumb, structure. Sandy soils will have poor structure, while heavy clay soil compacts when wet, inhibiting good plant growth. Compost can correct a soil that is either too sandy or too clayey by adding organic matter that encourages aggregate formation.”
Your next step is doing the Mason Jar Soil Test to get a snapshot of the structure of your soil.
This will tell you how much sand, clay and organic matter you have. Now you know what to start adding to build your soil. If in doubt – add compost – you can’t go wrong.
One of the best, and least expensive, ways to build your soil is to make your own compost. You already have the materials at home – right in your kitchen.
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