Every gardener needs the best soil for his garden. How do you know your soil is “good”? What do you add to make it good? When you go to a kindergarten or a big box store garden, look for bags of things that are familiar to you, such as backyard soil or lush or mushroom rot.
Which one do you use for your garden? And what about vegetable mixes for landscaping companies or freebies in a solid waste facility? Can you plant in it?
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It is confusing. For example, compost can be used as a vegetable soil, or as a lush, or as a fertilizer for native soil in your garden. And what is the difference between mushroom fertilizer and fertilizer you make in your own yard? Let’s start with the soil – what is it and what makes it ‘good’?
Soil: in the ground
Soil is an integral part of the earth’s surface and is a source of roots for plants as well as a source of essential nutrients for plant growth. Soil contains minerals, organic matter, microorganisms, air and water. It is usually 45% mineral, 5% organic matter (or Florida soil) and 50% perforated, which is held in air or water.
The soil organ provides most of the nutrients that support and support plants. The subsoil consists of fine grains, large sand, small sediment and small clay.
The nutrients in the soil are collected in aggregates, which form the structure of the soil. Organic matter helps the soil to absorb minerals by sticking together. Florida soils are generally low in organic matter and the addition of organic matter helps to attach soil particles to the mix and improve soil structure. Improving the soil structure provides many benefits to a gardener. The structure of the soil affects its ability to transfer and store water and nutrients and allows the roots to reach deep roots.
Soil testing can determine soil pH and the amount of phosphorus (pot) and potassium in your soil — two of the three essential elements for plant growth. Nitrogen (N) is another important element but is not limited to soil samples. Soil testing does not tell you how much organic matter is in the soil or what the structure of the soil is.
Organic matter and microorganisms
Organic matter consists of decomposed organic matter, which, when fully decomposed, is called humus. The organic matter in your garden is any living thing that is present in the soil or in the soil. Common organic materials are plant residues, leaves, grasses and other garden waste, food waste and animal fertilizers. Organic matter in the soil offers a variety of benefits:
Stable soil pH maintenance; Soil organic matter regulates major pH changes in soil. This helps to keep the soil pH in a low neutral zone (5.5 to 7), which is ideal for most garden plants.
Giving power to soil microorganisms; Organic matter is the main source of food for microorganisms. When fresh organic matter (e.g. plant residues, compost, organic waste) is added to the soil, microbes begin the process of decomposition. During this process nutrients are released, soil particles are formed and humus is formed.
Maintaining soil fertility; When organic matter is decomposed and nutrients are used by microorganisms and plants, they must be replenished regularly. Plants acquire P, K, and follow the decomposition of minerals by organic matter. N also feeds on special soil bacteria that change from the atmosphere to the shape of plants.
Maintenance of soil structure; The presence of sufficient amounts of organic matter in the soil helps to absorb soil particles (sand, mud, clay), facilitates integration and improves soil structure.
Removal of harmful plants; Soil organic matter binds to certain harmful chemicals, such as residual pesticides and trace elements, so they cannot escape the soil and pollute our water bodies.
Increasing compost and growing cover crops improves soil structure, increases the number of microorganisms and improves the overall health of the soil ecosystem.
Compost improves soil
Compost is a dark, crumbly crust that breaks down organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings, animal manure and kitchen waste. Compost does not decompose completely (like humus); It contains small pieces, such as branches and leaves. The decomposition process is sufficient in fertilizer, so nutrients are easily available to plants.
Converting garden waste and kitchen waste into compost is an environmentally friendly way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to dry waste production and provides useful and useful products for gardening. Compost is an excellent soil conditioner that improves the health and structure of sand and clay soils. It can be included in the garden soil or added as a mulch on top. It can be mixed with other materials used as clay or brewed “tea” for plant rot.
This is when the remaining waste sold by mushroom farms fails to produce a marketable mushroom crop. In general, some grains, blood foods, animal dung, and lime are mixed together.
Controls weeds and others
One of the best ways to improve your garden at a low cost is with mulching. Mulch helps control weeds, conserves moisture, regulates soil temperature, improves soil fertility, and, last but not least, enhances gardening and beauty.
Your garden soil should always be covered with nearby edible plants, perennials, cover crops or mulch. When the soil is empty, pioneering plants – known as weeds – sprout; Malnutrition; Erosion; Hunting insects, spiders and other garden helpers move; And all beneficial microorganisms die. When you plant the next crop, your garden ecosystem needs to be re-established, which will be a slow start each season.
It is any material that is placed on an empty surface or around plants to measure the total soil area. Grains can be organic or organic, but in a vegetable garden, organic fertilizers are preferred, as these are additional organic matter that can easily be added to the topsoil. Microbes soon begin the process of decomposition, and the mold eventually becomes part of the soil organic matter.
When organic matter is decomposed, they improve the structure of the soil and release nutrients. Some examples of organic mulch are wood chips, pine straw or bark, straw, oak or other tree leaves, rot and growing crops, or cut down. Materials such as newspaper and cardboard can be used as decay and decompose with other organic materials.
Collect leaves and pine straw
The best mulch is easily available (and free) such as leaves and pine straw. Some tree services will list you for free wood chips if you are cutting down trees in your area. If you select this option, you may need to accept the full load. Neighbors who plow their fields in the fall are a good source of nutrients.
Free mills are usually available in two sizes at a Lyon County solid waste facility – wood chips and “penalties” are very small. Occasionally there is also a semi-developed material. Visit the Lyon County website at leoncountyfl.gov.
The question that is often asked is whether these pesticides can be incorporated into your garden soil as an organic material or the punishment can be used as a garden soil. All of these materials are suitable for fertilization, and provide nutrients for your garden when they decompose in the soil, such as mulch.
Microorganisms use large amounts of nitrogen during the decomposition process, and when carbon-enriched materials are added to the soil, there is a chance of nitrogen depletion. This is usually not a problem when the materials do not decompose in the soil. For the same reason, implantation in incomplete penalties may be a problem.
Canned supplements and vegetable mix
All these materials are useful for your garden large or small scale. It is not possible to give a general description of which ones are the best, but to see what some of the best practices are in the bags, read the labels and the NPK focus in each category is expressed as a percentage. Such as 10-10-10 or 5-2-3.
In general, you want to get rid of materials that are low in nitrogen only (first number) or last grade (potassium). Florida soils often contain enough phosphorus, so the average phosphorus can be reduced to zero.
Bulk vegetable mixes are often good for high beds or indigenous soils and are generally a mixture of some rotten animal manure and other materials. As a rule, black mix, contains more organic matter, and is better for your garden.
Janis Piotrowski is a senior gardener volunteer with UF / IFAS Extension Leon County, Equal Opportunity Institute. She hosts a blog about gardening and sustainable living in North Florida at https://northfloridavegheadz.blogspot.com. For gardening questions, email the extension office at AskAMAsterGardener@ifas.ufl.edu.
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