• Gisa Seeholzer

Let's Get Dirty: 5 Ways to let your soil thrive

Every spring millions of people get excited to start planting their gardens. They imagine beautiful floral arrangements and colorful assortments of vegetables and fruit. But let's talk about some seriously dirty gardening, in other words let's talk about soil.

Soil is the most important part to gardening, after all if your soil is not equipped with the right nutrients then nothing will grow. It is always recommended to test ones soil before planting and doing this before you start to plant is best. Remember, you want to have a hustling and bustling garden full of macro and micro organisms. Ecosystems only work best when all the components are there. Do you remember hearing, "if you have worms in your soil that's a good sign?" Well it's true, it's also true that if you have 'weeds,' you also have healthy soil. If your soil was completely depleted of nutrients nothing would be able to thrive in it. So the next time you get agitated with a dandelion, take a deep breath blow on that dandelion and make a wish. There are so many products that come from dandelions that are beneficial for us. The same can be said of other plants that are labeled, 'weeds.'

Now back to soil, soil can be enriched with many different components. Be sure to practice organic gardening as it is the healthiest way to produce the food you eat and it has the least impact on the environment.

How to make your soil thrive:

1. Don't disturb your soil so much.

Soil contains so many microorganisms and constantly turning the soil disturbs the ecosystem that is down below. If you are looking to add nutrients to your soil, let the worms do all the work. Take a break, sip on some cold iced tea and wait a couple weeks for things to get moving.

2. Don't plant just one type of plant.

Plant lots of complimentary varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. A diverse garden welcomes many pollinators into your garden to help with a successful growing season.

3. When it comes to weeds, LET IT GO!

Weeds are a great representation of what's happening in your soil. Many of these weeds are part of the micro ecosystem in your soil, feeding, and allowing your soil to thrive.

4. Make use of Cover Crops: "Mustard! Don't Let Us Be Silly"-Madhatter

The Madhatter might not have loved mustard with his tea, but your garden will love the replenishments of nutrients that mustard offers. Not a fan of mustard? Feel free to try variety of clover. Planting a cover crop during the second half of winter helps to replenish your soil before you plant your spring crops.

5. Compost, Compost, Compost

There are so many beneficial nutrients that come from compost. Composts can be small or big depending on your gardening area. You can also add chicken manure to your compost in the winter to keep it heated or add worm compost for more added benefits.

So be sure to let your soil thrive with wondrous varieties of plants this spring and feel free to send us some pictures of your spring crop!

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