Category: Soil Talk

Too Much Nitrogen

Too Much Nitrogen
25 Jul

Nitrogen is one of the three most important so-called “macronutrients” for the healthy growth of plants, along with its equally important cousins phosphorus and potassium. These three elements are the central components of most fertilizers, and they form the N-P-K ratio that is shown on fertilizer packaging. A good, balanced, organic fertilizer for general garden…

The Poop on Manure

The Poop on Manture
28 May

What is manure? Broadly speaking, manure is organic matter. Animal manure is the feces of animals—primarily of livestock like horses, cows, and chickens. It may be “pure,” but it often includes bedding or litter materials like straw or sawdust, in which case it will also contain animal urine. Facts about manure. Depending on the source,…

Container Soil vs. Garden Soil

Potting Soil ZHG901
2 Jan

We often talk about cultivating organic soil that is rich in microbial action, and full of organisms. Soil in your garden combines naturally occurring minerals with the various organic and mineral amendments you add. As the organic matter breaks down, it feeds layer after layer of soil biology — moulds, fungi, arthropods, earthworms, and so…

Green Manure Cover Crops

Buckwheat as a Companion Plant
15 Sep

“Green manure” is the name given to cover crops that are planted for the purpose of adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. These plants can be as effective as animal manure in producing humus, thereby increasing soil fertility and structure. Cover crops are inexpensive to plant, and serve multiple purposes. Best of all,…

Soil Temperature and Day Length

Soil Temperature and Day Length
15 Sep

The changing seasons, and the longer daylight hours in summer are a result of the angle of the Earth’s axis in relation to the sun. It’s easy to forget how these changes can affect the growth of plants, and in particular, vegetables. Soil temperature plays a very important role in the success or failure of…

Soil Block Recipe

Soil Block Recipe
12 Sep

Soil Blockers have been around for many years, but their popularity is spreading fast, largely by word of mouth. Using this Soil Block recipe and Soil blockers will eliminate the need for plastic seedling trays and insert flats, so they represent an ecologically sound alternative for people who find themselves starting masses of seeds. A soil…

Nitrogen fixers

Here’s a bit of geeky plant science for you. David Bradbeer at the Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust sent me this great image of the roots of white clover. You can plainly see bumps along the roots that are called nodules. Over millions of years, the plant has evolved a symbiotic relationship with certain species…