Soil 101…

Soil is not dirt.  Soil is living.  Dirt is not.

Dirt is what is on my hands after I dig in my soil!

Healthy soil is required for plants to thrive and my soil needs help!  I tend to make things up as I go along (that’s a life philosophy not just one reserved for my gardening technique) and to be very honest I have never had a good solid plan to keep my soil healthy. I’m striving for continuous year round crops, so developing a solid plan is important.

I “farm” a little over 160 square feet of raised beds and my approach to soil health management is haphazard.   Does this sound familiar? Go to the local garden center or nursery, purchase random bags, dump them in, mix it up and largely just add water for the remainder of the growing season. This approach does not lend itself to optimum growing conditions; it’s akin to unhealthy eating habits!

For two years running now, my tomatoes and some of my peppers have suffered from BER (Blossom End Rot). BER is caused by insufficient calcium in the soil and is an example of what has resulted from my random approach.  I’m determined to rectify the dysfunction in my soil starting with the preparations for my winter garden.

So first things first, I’ll analyze the soil both for pH and for the nutrients NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (aka Potash)) to determine what is needed to create an optimum growing environment.  Secondly, I’ll abandon my random approach and replace it with an intentional one. On my next trip to the garden center or nursery my soil purchases will be specific and well thought out.

Soil 101… thanks for visiting

If you’re interested in technical details of pH and soil nutrients you’ll find some info in the gardening page.

Please come again and your comments and suggestions are welcome!

Until next time,

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