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The Poetry of Earth Is Never Dead

Our last video really drove home the importance of good soil not only for having a great looking garden, but also a healthy and sustainable one. Healthy soil needs less fertilizer and absorbs more water, leading to less runoff that carries with it less pollutants. Covering exposed soil with mulch is a great first step to building towards healthy soil, but if you really want to build up your soil you have to add organic matter.

Organic matter is dead and decaying plant matter in the soil that promotes life—the micro-organisms, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa that feed on the decaying matter. As the video notes, this life is the “party in the soil” that helps deliver nutrients to your plants. As a bonus, organic matter improves the tilth—or workability—of the soil and increases aeration, water absorption, and promotes root growth of plants.

Sooo, how do you do it? You can add organic matter like compost directly to the soil. Dig up the top 4-6 inches of soil so it is nice and loose and then add at least an inch of organic matter to the top. Now work it all together to spread the organic matter out. Earthworms will be drawn to the organic matter and will help to evenly distribute it over time. The earthworms will eat non-decayed matter and shed castings (a.k.a. worm poop) which is even better for the soil than organic matter! You’ll have amazing soil in no time.

If you want to learn even more or if getting out and working in your garden gets you motivated, you can check out the Back to Natives classes that are happening October through December!

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