Creating a healthy and nutrient rich soil is a key to the success of your gardening endeavor. Many of our gardening friends are complaining about the quality of garden soil in their backyard. Your soil may not be of very high quality or of ideal pH range but it is not very difficult to make an ideal gardening soil by adding some ingredients to the soil.
We have already discussed soil conditioners like coconut coir which can increase the water retention capacity of the soil quite a fold. As an organic gardener, we always want to promote different organic options rather than to adapt any quick fix chemical options. In this article, we will discuss some organic elements which will increase the nutrient part of your soil. I have not mentioned any amount as it depends on the quality of your soil. It is best to test your existing soil before applying any of these ingredients.
Some of the elements which you can add to the soil are as follows.
Limes are generally added to the soil to increase the elements like Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur etc. These are basically three type of lime available in the market which you can add to the soil. They are Agricultural lime (this is actually Calcium carbonate), Gypsum (Calcium sulfate) and Dolomite (this is usually a mixture of Calcium carbonate and Magnesium carbonate). So depending on the condition of your soil you add the type best suits for your soil. Sometimes you use a particular type of lime whereas in many cases you need to mix the three. Apart from adding nutrients to the soil, adding lime can also control the acidity of the soil. Read Soil pH: A Basic Idea for more information.
These are the byproducts of different oilseeds such as soybeans, sunflower, Mustard or cotton seed. Though these are primarily used to feed animals, you can use this as fertilizers. Depending on the part of the world you are living and the availability you can use any type of seed meal. This seed meal is very good source of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (NPK) for the plants. These are easy to store as they generally do not degenerate very easily if kept in airtight condition.
Bone meals are used to increase the phosphate content of the soil. As per alternative to the bone meal you can also use Phosphate rocks or bat guano, though the last two are relatively harder to find.
Using kelp can be a little expensive. But the best part of using kelp is that it provides the supply of trace elements, which are very hard to get from other elements. It also provides vitamins for plants and power of resistance from different stresses such as the cold. Many people use different rock dust as a replacement of kelp, but it is best if you can afford kelp.
These ingredients along with compost from time to time will produce excellent results. Is there any other ingredient which you use? Share with us here.