9 Ways To Improve The Soil Health In Your Garden
Just like healthy people, healthy soil needs a balanced combination of elements. They are all crucial in different processes of your plant. For example, iron is crucial for photosynthesis and it works as the ignition for the plants to produce chlorophyll. If a plant has an iron deficiency it can cause its leaves turn yellow.
For a successful garden, you must have healthy soil. And it needs care just like one’s body needs care.
According to oil scientist Steve Andrews, we should never treat our soil like dirt. Dirt, as he says, is that stuff on the bottom of your shoes, your feet, in your vacuum cleaner bag etc. But soil, on the other hand, is a living entity, full of organic nutrients, materials, and microorganisms. (1)
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If you want to have healthy soil you should think about these things:
Your soil must get the water and air it needs. A broad fork is perfect for loosening up your soil or an aerator for improving the water flow without impacting its structure, or the organisms in the soil. But remember that every time you turn it or dig it up, it disturbs the microorganisms in it and damages the structure of the soil.
Don’t pull your plants. Instead, leave the roots in the ground and cut them off above ground. This way they’ll decay naturally, improve the tilth and feed the soil.
Cover up the soil. Cover up the soil using cardboard, leaves, an organic mulch of newspaper or wood chips.
Fortify the soil with compost. Compost helps provide the soil a continuous supply of food. You can add it in large amounts a few times each year or a little at a time throughout the year.
Feed your soil with organic matter. In order to have healthy soil and to support growing plants feed your soil with organic matter such as chopped leaves, compost, cover crops, manure, grass or straw clippings from a non-chemical treated lawn.
Here are some rather unusual things that work perfectly for healthy soil:
9 Unusual Things For Improving Your Soil:
Aerated compost tea is one of the numerous ways you can use tea to improve the health of your soil. It’s filled with tiny microorganisms such as beneficial aerobic bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and fungi that are very beneficial for fertile and healthy soil.
The best thing is that it’s very easy and cheap to make yourself right at home. All you need is to save your used tea bags. Make sure they’re made from muslin, paper, or silk because if they’re made up of polypropylene they won’t decompose. Even then you can still use them, but you’d have to save the damp tea leaves and throw out the actual bag. Not only it will nourish your plants, but it will aid water retention as well as helping to repress weeds.
You can also use the brewed tea with a spray bottle to water your seedlings; just make sure that no sugar or milk has been added. It contains tannic acid which makes the plants healthier and stronger.
Due to a large amount of nitrogen, coffee grounds are outstanding for raising the nitrogen level in the soil. It can help your plants grow faster, whether it’s grass or tomatoes. They also contain phosphorus and potassium. So the coffee grounds actually contain all three of the essential ingredients for fertilizer.
Banana peels make one of the best fertilizers around and are great for putting to use in your garden soil. They’re high in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as a host of other minerals that are essential for healthy soil. Banana peels provide a nutritious kick to seeds, which translates into healthier plants.
You can use them in different ways:
- use whole peels when planting
- chop them into one-quarter inch pieces and bury them beneath the surface or up to four inches down.
- grind up the peels, then dry them and use them with the fertilizer.
Egg shells are also loaded with calcium. Crush them well and place in soil that’s around your tomato plants to help prevent blossom-end rot. They can keep the snails and slugs away if you sprinkle them around the base of plants. You can also add them to your compost bin because they help reduce acidity due to their lime content.
Water from boiling eggs
When the eggs boil, calcium leaches into the water. This makes an excellent feed for your plants. All you need to do is reserve the water used after boiling eggs and make sure you let it cool before using.
Crushed oyster shells make a slow-release fertilizer which helps keep the soil healthy. Just crush them in pieces as small as possible. Due to their high content of calcium carbonate, they help make the soil more alkaline.
Fish heads and other fish parts
Fish are rich in nutrients that plants love. Bury chunks of fish at the root of your plants or grind up fish parts and make your own fertilizer.
You can use wood ashes in your garden soil as it has a high alkaline content as well as trace amounts of calcium and potassium to help encourage blooms. If you have acidic soil, just sprinkle the ashes around plants that grow in alkaline soil, such as roses, lilac, and hydrangea.
Research shows that when water containing aspirin is directly sprayed onto the seeds that are sown in the ground, the result is 100 percent germination of the seeds. (2)
Add 1½ aspirin to two gallons of water. Spray your plants every three weeks. This will help strengthen the immune system of your plants. Salicylic acid naturally occurs in plants but in very low amounts. And the aspirin is made from the same substance. Besides that it helps boost the immune system, it can also stimulate flowering.