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Beneficial Fungi

Cover Crops. Mason Jar Soil Test - Spring Garden Primer, Spring Garden Primer – Do a Mason Jar Soil Test Every year in the spring I do a mason jar soil test to see the soil structure in my garden and decide if I need to make any amendments.

Mason Jar Soil Test - Spring Garden Primer,

This is a simple and easy test to take if you are creating a new garden area, you’ve recently moved or you want to do a cool experiment with your kids. Knowing the structure of your soil will help you determine how much water and fertilizer your plants will need, and what soil amendments to make. Your soil is a mass of mineral particles, water, air and dead organic matter. The size and form of those particles make up the basic soil structure. There are three soil components – Clay, Sand and Silt Clay is the smallest mineral component. Sand makes up the largest particles in soil.

Silt represents the middle size pieces. Composting & Soil Building. What does it take to improve your soil?

Composting & Soil Building

How do you know if you have good or bad soil? Composting had been around a long time. Even Thomas Jefferson knew the value of soil improvement at Monticello. Noting the difficulty of moving manure from the barns to the fields, he decided to station the cattle in the fields for long periods of time. The plan was to have “a moveable cow house” set up in the middle of the field so he could take advantage of their droppings. It may not be practical for you to have cattle standing in the middle of your garden, but you can take advantage of adding compost in the same way. A compost pile is a replication of the natural process that takes place almost everywhere. From The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener “In good garden soils, the individual particles of sand, clay and silt will naturally group together into larger units called aggregates.

This will tell you how much sand, clay and organic matter you have.

Effective Microorganisms

Healthy Facts About Those Roly Poly Bugs In Your Yard. Photo credit: Everyone knows what roly poly bugs are!

Healthy Facts About Those Roly Poly Bugs In Your Yard

You might call them by a different name: Woodlice, pill bugs, wood louse, even armadillo bugs. No matter what you call them, almost every child in the world had pulled up a log or brick and found these tiny grey bugs, touched them so that they rolled up into a ball, and then played with them for a while. Soil Prep for Backyard Gardening. Homesteader's Guide to Soil Improvement. Soil Testing The Pioneer Way (No Equipment Needed)

Worm Farming

Permaculture Bed. Soil Common Sense (National Gardening Association) All great plants start with great soil.

Soil Common Sense (National Gardening Association)

Spend extra time building the soil and you'll be rewarded with a healthier garden. The soul of your garden is the soil. A healthy soil translates into a healthy garden. But before you begin adding compost, manure, fertilizer, lime, and other soil amendments, you need to know what type of soil you have and its properties. Clay, silt, and sandy soils all behave differently and have different needs. Secrets to Great Soil: Gardener's Supply. A raised bed being amended with compost in spring.

Secrets to Great Soil: Gardener's Supply

The grassy plant is a cover crop of winter rye, planted in fall, which will be turned in with the compost. When I think about being a gardener, I usually think about the plants I tend - the flowers, fruit and foliage that delight my eyes and my tastebuds. But plants are really only half the story.


Compost. Fertilizers. Mulch. Quality. Soil. Life in the Soil. Soil. Soil Texture to Soil Food Web. Symphony of the Soil. Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair with World Changing Organic Crop Yield Innovation. Make Your Own Potting Soil. Related Content Homemade Woodchip Mulch Woodchip mulch has great benefits for gardening and landscaping.

Make Your Own Potting Soil

Instead of buying woodchips, we can... 10 Interesting Facts About Earthworms. By Roger Di Silvestro As winter draws to a close, gardeners begin their spring migration into the outdoors, leaving winter dens behind and coming into contact with the harbingers of the shifting seasons: shovels, hoes and trowels.

10 Interesting Facts About Earthworms

Oh, and earthworms. Anyone prone to working the soil knows that upturning the earth exposes these shiny, wigging, pinkish-brownish tubular life forms, sending them thrashing in hasty retreat into the comforting, moist darkness of the soil. Dirt! The Movie. Holy Shit: The Secret Behind Creating Truly Sustainable Food. By Makenna GoodmanAlterNet If you’re into food, you’ve got to embrace manure.

Holy Shit: The Secret Behind Creating Truly Sustainable Food

Like it or not, the bowel movement after all, is the foundation upon which the sustainable food movement stands. When I moved to a farm in rural Vermont, I knew life would be a far cry from the New York literary world from whence I came. I knew even though plaid shirts, work boots, and waxed canvas coats cover the fashion magazines these days-life on a real farm has nothing to do with image or status. I do have to say, however, when I meet my old city friends on the streets of Brooklyn to hock eggs or pumpkins, I have been known to brag.

Shit rules my life-or at least it should, if I were a good farmer. Organic. Nitrogen Cycle Summary. Nitrogen is an important structural component of many necessary compounds, particularly proteins.

Nitrogen Cycle Summary

Atmosphere is the reservoir of free gaseous nitrogen and nitrogen compounds are found in bodies of organisms and in the soil. Living organisms cannot pickup elemental gaseous nitrogen directly from the atmosphere (except for nitrogen fixing bacteria). It has to be converted into nitrates to be utilised by plants. Nitrogen cycling involves several stages: Conversion of nitrogen into nitrates is called nitrogen fixation. 1) Atmospheric nitrogen fixation 2) Biological nitrogen fixation 3) Industrial nitrogen fixation Thunderstorms and lightning are the common photochemical and electrochemical reactions in nature, which convert atmospheric gaseous nitrogen to oxides of nitrogen. An average amount of 7.6 x 106 metric tonnes per year of nitrogen is estimated to be produced in nature. Soil Science Education - How Does Your Garden Grow? Redworms & Vertical Farming. How To: The Ultimate, Bomb-Proof Sheet Mulch - Toby Hemenway. Sheet mulch can be as simple as a layer of newspapers topped by 8 to 12 inches of nearly any mulch material.

How To: The Ultimate, Bomb-Proof Sheet Mulch - Toby Hemenway

But if you want to build the perfect sheet mulch, here’s how: If this is your first sheet mulch, start small. Sheet mulch gobbles up a tremendous amount of organic matter—the roughly 2 cubic yards held by a full-sized pickup truck will cover about 50 square feet. But don’t scrimp.