Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Soils and other Garden topics.
If you have a garden that is used for vegetables like tomatoes, corn, squash and cucumbers, give your planting areas a rest by rotating crops. In the fall, after harvest, roto-til the planting site, then lay down sheets of newspaper. Dampen the sheets of newspaper with water once they are laid down. Then cover the sheets of newspaper with several inches of compost and chopped leaves. On top of this, add three to four inches of fresh topsoil. Earthworms will help work these nutrients into the tired earth. Over the winter months you can add kitchen scraps by tossing them on top of the soil. If animal pests are a problem, dig a small hole and bury the scraps.
A second popular method of replenishing the soil is to grow a cover crop or living mulch. Cover crops are typically grown over the winter, then roto-tilled into the earth in the spring. However this is not the only option. Cover crops can be grown as a cash crop during the regular gardening season. Some cover crops make excellent living mulches. These living mulches are planted between rows of the main crop to help reduce the leaching of nutrients. Cover crops have several purposes. The first thing they do is improve the soil tilth. In addition cover crops control erosion, weeds and help maintain the organic matter in the soil.
Replenishing the soil is important in both conventional and organic gardening. When gardening organically, this is the method used. Along with replenishing the soil remember to rotate your crops.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|