Tuesday, May 17, 2016

10 Organic Gardening Tips And How-To Improve Garden Soil Conditions

One of the issues of living where we do, is that the ground at our house is all clay. All of it! Not a spot of top soil to save my life. That does not bode well for a garden or a lawn sadly.

This past weekend, I headed over to Greenstreet Gardens, which is just down the road from us. They were having something called Veggiemania. I only went to hear the Saturday speakers because we had too much going on Sunday.

The first speaker was Anita Dafonte from Coast of Maine. I have to be honest with you, I felt so bad for her, and for the garden center. I was the only person who showed up. The benefit to that was getting one on one time with Anita, but I wasn't even prepared to ask her any questions. I figured her presentation would either cover stuff I needed to learn, or would spark questions for me to ask.

Having never had to improve soil, I had no idea what to do or where to start. As I'm chatting with Anita, Fred is at home trying to till a spot for me to be able to garden. We borrowed our neighbor's cultivator, and that thing barely made a dent in the ground. On top of that, we brought in a yard of top soil. While it was a lot, it will only be able to do the garden, and I won't be able to go too deep with it. All I can say is, it's a start.

I've had a perennial and vegetable garden for years, but I've never been knowledgable about soil. I'm not even an amateur at it. I dig a whole and plant something. That's about it. The only thing I've ever known is to not plant the same thing in the same spot year after year. Aside from that, I know nothing.

When it comes to my garden, I'm going to try out a few of the soil supplements on top of the top soil that we're adding in to the ground. That's what I'm going to be sharing about.

Lobster Meal

This is made from lobster and crab shell. They have natural nitrogen and calcium for plants. Once the shells and body are dehydrated, they're ground into a meal for fertilizer. With a new garden, they suggest 5 lbs per 100 sq ft. And you mix that into the top 2-3" of soil. It promotes green leafy growth.

Kelp Meal

This is made from dehydrated kelp and seaweed. They say this is a source of trace macro and micro-nutrients (which I'm not exactly sure what that means). Kelp meal promotes healthier plants and improve crop yield. Sounds good to me with all the veggies I want to have! With a new garden, they suggest 2 lbs per 100 sq ft. You also this into the top 2-3" of soil. It promotes root and plant growth.

Fish Bone Meal

This is made from dehydrated Pacific Whiting bones. It contains the three things most plants need: phosphorous, calcium, and nitrogen. This promotes flowering and root growth. Turns out this is good for bulbs and vegetable gardens! Now the downside about the Fish Bone meal, is you need 8 lbs per 100 sq ft to mix into the top 3" of the soil.

Alfalfa Meal

This is made from...alfalfa, which is a perennial flowering legume. I had no idea. It helps increase organic material into the soil, and is an effective soil conditioner. Alfalfa meal promotes revitalized soil and improves crop yield. They recommend it to top-dress your soil. They even suggest it as a tea, but not the kind of tea for humans, but for plants.

What are best tips for getting a garden started from scratch?


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.