Improving Soil Health

Soil is the engine room of the garden, and improving the health of your soil is a key step to having a thriving organic garden. Here are some easy ways to improve the health and quality of your soil:

Using organic fertilisers – organic fertilisers like Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser contain organic matter, and when used regularly will help improve soil health by raising the organic matter content of the soil. This encourages earthworms and soil microorganisms, improves the moisture and nutrient holding capacity of sandy soil and the drainage and aeration of clay soil.

Encouraging earthworms – earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms help break down organic matter into nutrients that plants can use and earthworms also help aerate the soil, making it easier for plant roots to grow. Keeping the soil moist and protected with mulch will encourage earthworms and microorganisms, as will adding organic matter and fertilisers to the garden, which provides them with food.

Making your own compost – compost is a fantastic soil improver, and it’s easy to make your own. Making compost is a little like making lasagne. Use layers of different organic materials and then ‘bake’ (or compost in this case). For more detailed information on making your own compost, head to How To Make Compost

Using organic mulches – mulch helps reduce moisture loss from the soil, protect the soil from exposure to the elements and reduce weed growth. Organic mulches like sugar cane, Lucerne and pea straw as well as leaf litter and wood chips provide all these benefits in addition to importantly breaking down over time and adding beneficial organic matter to the soil. Lawn clippings should not be used as mulch – they’re better used in the compost bin.

Growing a green manure crop – growing a ‘green manure’ crop is a fantastic way to add organic matter back into the soil. Green manure is leafy green foliage that is grown then mixed into the soil, rather than being harvested. A green manure crop is ideal to recharge a depleted area of the vegie patch or in preparation for future vegie plantings.

Here’s an easy how-to process for growing your own green manure crop:


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