DON'T FORGET ABOUT MY GIVEAWAY OF THE COOKBOOK MORE WITH LESS. ENDS TOMORROW!
A neat tip that I learned on HerbMentor.com in their interview with Tammi Harting, author of Growing 101 Herbs That Heal:
If you have bad soil, before you start your garden, plant a spring crop of organic oats (this is pretty inexpensive). It is considered a green manure crop and is a GREAT way to rebuild the soil. Allow the oats to get 1 1/2 feet tall and then till them in with the rototiller. This adds a lot of good green matter to the soil.
In the winter, spread manure on and allow to soak in through winter. Dig up and turn up soil in the spring and plant.
This tip continues on from above, but is great for all gardening:
Fertilize once a month by topdressing starting in the spring using green organic material (like fresh grass clippings, fruit/veggie peels, etc.). Apply about 1/4 inch deep and rake in and around with hand rake. It will be absorbed through the watering and bring a lot of nutrition to the soil.
Soil MUST have organic material!
Although you want to put organic materials into the soil, one thing you don't want to put directly into the soil itself is brown organic material like straw or wood mulch. The brown organic material takes nitrogen and nutrition from the soil in order to break and down and compost it. It is better to use that on the top of he soil as a mulch to keep moisture in the ground. Brown materials are also great for composting, but don't turn them directly into the ground until they have completely composted in your composting bin.
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