#1 Three great reasons: 1) Moisture, if you keep the soil good and fluffy, not to sandy or hard. It will hold more water, which results in less watering and very helpful during the dry part of the season. 2) Micronutrients, these are all the great minerals and vitamins the plant needs to grow strong and healthy. This means less deceased plants and all that "Yummy Goodness" is passed onto you! 3) And having the right soil means more worms! They will keep those roots moving around with ease and they help keep your soil loss!
Tip: Worm Tubes! Several people have been introducing, "worm tubes" in their gardens. It's kinda like a worm buffet, the thought is to have a place actually in the garden where you can put vegetable scraps; the worms then come into the bottom of the tube, eat through the scraps, and move out into the garden to deposit their castings. I learned this from my neighbor's garden. They are the white tubes in the corners!
#2 What if my soil drains to quickly? Well its probably way to sandy. So what you will need to do is add more organic matter to it, such as compost. Have you seen a trend, having a "Compost Bin" or access to it or other top soils will help and maintain just about any soil type!
3 So we have talked about "Black Gold" compost being very important in the garden but one of the final things is called "Green Manure" or A Cover Crop.
1) So what is a cover crop, its a crop for soil protection or enrichment, a crop planted between main crops to prevent erosion or to be plowed in to enrich the soil.
2) What benefits do cover crops have?
Cover crops: Improve soil health, Scavenging soil nitrogen, Improve yield potential over time, Improve weed control of winter annuals, Reduce erosion, Increase earthworm populations, Improve soil microbiology, Build Soil Organic Matter, Help you with manure management, Provide excellent grazing opportunities (if you have live stock)
Cover crop roots, along with the additional earthworms: Increase soil organic matter, Increase soil porosity, Increase soil aeration, Increase “channels” for future row crop roots to follow, Reduce compaction, Increase nutrient recycling
Types of Cover Crops:
Winter Rye is a common winter cover crop, sown after cash crops are harvested in the fall.
Oats are used as a winter cover crop to protect the soil without requiring intensive management in the spring, because they are frost-killed.
Annual Ryegrass is a low-growing cover crop that produces an extensive root system that is good at capturing leftover nitrogen.
Sudangrass and Sorghum-sudangrass (Sudex) are fast-growing, warm season crops that require good fertility and moisture to perform well.
Buckwheat is a fast-growing summer annual that can be used to protect the soil and suppress weeds for a month or two between spring and fall cash crops. It grows fairly well on acid and low phosphorus soils.
Japanese Millet is an annual grass that grows about 4 ft tall and can provide good weed suppression.
Brassica cover crops such as Oriental mustard have been associated with disease suppression in a subsequent cash crop.
Red Clover is a short-lived perennial that is somewhat tolerant of acid or poorly drained soils.
White Clover is a low-growing perennial, tolerant of shade and slightly acid soil. Ladino types are taller than the Dutch or wild types.
Sweetclover is a biennial that is deep-rooted and adapted to a wide range of soils.
Hairy Vetch has become increasingly popular as a cover crop.
Alfalfa requires deep, well-drained soil with a pH near neutral for good growth.
Tip: You can mix this together if you wish and you will get a longer growing season, if you wish to allow the soil to rest a year. If not at least have a good crop rotation each growing season.
I think we can leave the soil topic now. Like I said, I'm sure there are more tips and topics we can discuss. If you remember one that wasn't covered leave a comment and I will do my best or hopefully its something I don't know about and you can teach me something, which isn't that hard to do, lol!
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:10
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