Making sure that soil is healthy and thriving is the basis of sustainable gardening. Well-fed soil will, in turn, nourish plants.
Feeding the soil helps nourish plants and even helps plants resist pests and diseases. Healthy soil retains water well and is alive with microorganisms. To feed soil, make a habit of adding organic matter every season. Organic matter includes compost, grass clippings from a non-treated lawn, chopped leaves, manure, cover crops, or straw.
Healthy soil provides basic nutrients to plants but you may also boost nutrition with natural plant foods. To supplement this diet, gardeners who encourage a living soil rely on plant foods (fertilizers) that are low in salts and originate from natural sources, including:
- plant products, like Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, kelp, and kitchen compost
- animal manures and byproducts, such as blood meal, bone meal, or fish emulsion
- naturally occurring mineral deposits, such as rock phosphate or lime