Two Ways to Enrich Organic Garden Soil Without Commercial Fertilizers

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There are two types of enrichment in organic garden soil, including mechanical enrichment and chemical enrichment. Learn about composting with help from a gardener in this free video on organic garden soil.

Part of the Video Series: Winter Planning for Spring Gardens
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Steve Skinner with Kathryn's Garden. Today, we're going to give you two ways to enrich organic garden soil without commercial fertilizers. When we say enriched soil, remember there are two types of enrichment. One is mechanical enrichment. This has to do with the texture of the soil. Things like sand, Perlite help with drainage. Other items like peat help with moisture retention. Another aspect of soil enrichment is what is referred to as chemical enrichment. It is the fertility of the soil. The plant needs to uptake nutrients through the root system and there are two ways to organically enrich soil to supply nutrients for your plant growth, composting and manure. As with any organic garden soil enrichment, you will need to plan ahead because it takes a while for composting to occur and a really easy way to compost is just a pothole like this one. Just make sure the compost pile or the bin is exposed to full sun. this will help it heat up and cause the breakdown of the material to occur much faster. You can also cover the pile with black plastic to speed it up. From time to time, you will need to turn the pile and allow for the plant matter on top to get underneath so it can go through a heat and begin to compost. So what are the best things to put into a compost pile? Well you can use grass clippings, leaves, leftover vegetation, eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, tea grounds, all sorts of things from your own kitchen but be sure to avoid things like vegetable oils, meats, fats as these encourage the wrong types of bacteria that can actually be harmful. Manure will supply nutrients to the soil as well. Chicken manure is a great source of nutrient rich compost but be careful because manures can be very strong and can burn plants. The most safe way to use manure is to compost it for a year until it finishes its heating process in the same way you would compost then use it as a top dressing or mix it with water and use it as a liquid fertilizer. This has been Steve Skinner with Kathryn's Garden and those are two ways that you can enrich garden soil.

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