Our mission is to cultivate a sacred space to grow, preserve, and protect heirloom and Indigenous seeds in accordance with Rotinonhsyon:ni cosmology, to ensure the availability of healthy, viable seeds for our collective future generations.
One of the best ways to have a beautiful garden is to build healthy soil. Your plants rely on soil for nutrients, oxygen, water and much more. If your soil isn’t balanced and healthy, your garden won’t have much chance of success.
It isn’t difficult to build a new garden. Most people start by tilling their soil, digging up some dirt, and putting in a few plants. Then you can add compost or mulch your garden. Before you know it, you’re making good soil for your crops and vegetables. But the success of your garden depends on how healthy your garden soil is.
Do you have a hard, clayey material in your backyard, with which you expect to grow a fecund garden? Or perhaps a sandy soil with no nutrients to offer your much loved plants? Well do not despair, there are ways to improve soils.
The first part of the Understanding Soil Nutrients series will be on nitrogen. As vegetable gardeners, nitrogen can play a key factor in whether our vegetables grow successfully or are doomed for failure. Too much nitrogen can mean big, bushy plants that have brilliant foliage, but little or no fruit. Not enough nitrogen causes browning foliage, and plants with stunted growth.
Don’t be too quick to blame horrendous-sounding afflictions like “verticillium” and “fusarium” or any other diseases for the sickly yellowing of your pin oak’s or geranium’s leaves. The problem may be that your soil’s pH is out of whack. Every plant has its preferred range of soil acidity, and when the pH level is out of that range, a host of ills may follow. A basic understanding of pH will not only help keep your garden healthy but also assist you if things go bad. Here is what you need to know to make smart decisions about managing your soil’s pH.
The soil pH value is a measure of soil acidity or alkalinity. Soil pH directly affects nutrient availability. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. Numbers less than 7 indicate acidity while numbers greater than 7 indicate alkalinity.
Gardening is a lot like baking. You need to have the right steps and ingredients to get a good end product. Soil testing is an integral part of the recipe. Knowing what a soil test is, how to take one, and how to interpret the results will make a world of difference in your garden.