Healthy Soil Basics

Healthy Soil Basics

Soil & Compost
Soil Fertility First of all, I have to say I am sorry for the subtitle. ;) To make a living on the internet, you have to make use of proper keywords. But it makes it sound like we're trying to get the soil pregnant... just had to laugh at that one. Seriously, soil fertility is concerned with the resident holding power of soil to provide nutrition in satisfactory amounts and in proper balance for the growth of your plants when the other growth factors like light, moisture, and temperature and the physical condition of the soil are appropriate. Soil fertility is one facet of the soil - plant relationship, namely plant growth, with reference to plant nutrients available in soil. A fertile soil is considered to be one that delivers…
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How To Improve the Soil in Your Garden With Sheet Mulching

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
[caption id="attachment_815" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles"][/caption] Is your garden typically riddled with weeds by mid-summer? Are you looking for an organic method for improving the fertility of your soil? Interested in learning inexpensive techniques for maximizing your garden's water retaining properties? Master organic gardener Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables and coauthor of Edible Forest Gardens, has the perfect solution for you: sheet mulching! Sheet mulching combines soil improvement, weed removal, and long-term mulching in one fell swoop. This technique, also known as lasagna gardening, builds organic material and smothers weeds at the same time, so they never get a chance to grow!. Nine Simple Steps to Sheet Mulching, adapted from Eric Toensmeier's Perennial Vegetables Mow…
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Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farmers Are Flocking to Manure

Farm Animals, Organic Gardening, Small Scale Farming, Soil & Compost
The closest thing I can find to a directory on getting local manure is CraigsList. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a location or farmer in your area that will happily supply you with enough manure to use for home organic gardening Then, I ran across this article, Why Farmers are Flocking to Manure that throws out this common statistic... "It has taken us about 100 years to reduce soil organic matter to dangerously low levels from about 5 percent, on average, to below 2 percent." That blog article was adapted from the book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind" So they are running out of chemical fertilizer. Go Figure. And how fast could our commercial farming industry make the move to organic farming?…
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5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

5 Easy Steps to Sustainable Gardening

Organic Gardening, Sustainable Landscaping
1) Observe your space Where is the sun / shade? (watch the patterns during the growing season throughout the day) How is the land sloped? (south faces warmer & sunnier than north - use to your advantage!) Is it windy? (plant some trees or shrubs to act as a windbreak!) 2) Think about what you like to eat and see! plant some of your favorites! choose varieties that are suited for your climate (local garden stores usually specialize in these!) plan plantings that compliment each other (grow sunflowers as a trellis for pole beans!) 3) Soil is the start work soil in spring only when it begins to dry (not when soggy you'll lose important soil structure!) add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! add Organic Matter! (in the form of…
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7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter. Learn how composting works. Even a newbie to composting can make good quality compost. It can be compared to cooking as art or part science. The following 7 factors will help you master the art of composting. Components of a Compost Pile After a time anything that was once alive will naturally decompose. But, not all organic items should be composted for the garden. To prepare compost, organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen are needed. These items are safe to compost at home: * grass clippings * trimmings from hedges * vegetable scraps * leaves * potting soil that has grown old * twigs * coffee filters…
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Green Run aMUCK.

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Our Homestead, Soil & Compost
Okay, so last year I was begging for rain. They said Oklahoma was the driest it had been since the dust bowl. But THIS year, oh my... like they say, be careful what you wish for... The two raised beds are entirely tooo small to grow all this 'big stuff' zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, all my favorite summertime munchables. I need to make some new beds for next year... (note to self) As you know from reading about the creation of my garden the raised beds were filled completely with compost, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and a bit of horse manure from the local race track thrown in. Well, have I learned a lesson about compost ingredients this year. Last year most everything just couldn't take the dry summer heat, no…
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