Feed the soil, not the plant!

Understanding Soil and Soil Life, Plus Mulches and Leaf Mould
Capital Growth course at Regent’s Park Allotment Garden 15th October 2011
Our new mantra:
Feed the soil, not the plant!

Soil is surprisingly rare on the planet; what with the sea taking up so much and mountains being about, there is only about 10% of the earth’s surface that is covered in usable soil, and this is the same bit we keep building cities on!
To grow plants soil must be kept:
  • Moist
  • Warm
  • Aerated
  • Fed
Soil should be fed with:
  • Humus – this is what we are making in our compost heap
  • Vermicompost and Worm Juice– we could make this with a wormery
The pH balance of the soil is very important and for most plants should be kept at a neutral pH of about 7.
Soil should be tested regularly and the balance altered to keep it in the most fertile range. If it is too acid, we can add lime. If it is too alkaline, we can add more compost or manure.

Corrugated cardboard is good to add to compost heaps as it contains lime, used in its manufacture, it also adds carbon and allows for air to circulate the heap more easily so the bacteria can breath and compost our compost for us.

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