How to Love your Soil and Make Fertilizer

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Whether you do a soil test or just assume your soil needs some TLC, you are now going to be able to help it. The soils around the world are being depleted for many reasons.  Whether it is from lack of crop rotation, pesticides, or just no TLC, the soil needs to be assisted in maintaining its health.

Giving is a secret law embedded in nature but we must realize we are a part of that system and we need to be involved in helping the soil just like it helps us.

The soil is unable to give us nourishment if we do not in turn take care of it. 

Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy World

Here’s how to help get your soil back to where it needs to be, full of nutrients and structurally sound.

Soil Structure

To help ensure that your soil is healthy, you need it to drain well and be an ideal environment for nutrients to easily get to the plant and then to the fruit and then to you. To do this you need to help it by creating compost.

Compost is nature’s fertilizing power house. Many in India right now are finding the harm of years of repeated over-doses of synthetic fertilizer. In the beginning the plants grew at an incredible rate. Eventually though, the soil just wore out like someone on steroids. Then it was nearly impossible to get the soil to do what it did without the juice. You have to apply more and more and more until you can barely grow anything.

Plants can grow and look healthy. Compost is a great way to encourage nutrient presence.  The key ingredients are Air, Water, (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphorous and (K) Potassium. 

You want to integrate your compost with these nutrients as you plant and periodically throughout the growing season:

• Nitrogen helps promote green foliage

• Phosphorous helps promote root and flower growth

• Potassium helps with the plants immunity to disease and overall plant health

To make your own compost all you have to do is find a nice shady area or bin. 

To make good compost you need a combination of “green” high-nitrogen materials like fruits and veggies, grass clippings, or weeds. You will add these to your “brown” ingredients 

like leaves, newspaper, or wood (twigs/smaller pieces). 

Mix these in layers evenly one layer on top of the next. 

Things not to use in your compost are:

Meat scraps, bones, fat, oils, breads, glossy magazines, diseased plants, feces from cats 

and dogs. 

It is interesting how a number of these above are now being shown to be harmful to our health in our regular diets. 

The pile should remain damp but not wet. The bigger the pile, the faster it will break down and be able to be used. You can assist the process by turning the pile every few weeks. 

When your compost pile basically looks like soil, then sprinkle it around your plants and mix it into the first few inches of the soil around each plant.

Soil Fertility and Nutrients

Your soil is tired and warn out. Its been giving and giving all these years and it needs some TLC in order to bring it back to what it needs to be.  Just like your body needs Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium etc to function properly, so does the soil to help grow healthy plants.

Kelp and ocean salts have been shown to help in a number of areas including:

• stimulate soil bacteria which increases fertility of the soil through humus formation.

• helps aeration

• helps moisture retention

• increases resistance to disease and pests

• allows for easy nutrient absorption into the plant

• seed germination

• increase in food production per plant

Think about it, by helping your soil you are really helping yourself! You will have more nutrients in your food and have more disease resistant plants which in turn will lead to healthier and more delicious food. 

Secret Sauce

Find manure, or cricket castings, or worm poop free from any antibiotics or hormones and start adding a little of this to your soil ever few weeks. 

4 Ingredients to Healthy Plants in your Garden

As you’re planning your garden, there are some key ingredients you want to consider. Just like baking some bread or a cake, without these you’re not going to find the success you’re looking for.

You will hear me say this over and over, but we can’t take from the garden without giving back. I would even go so far as to say we can’t take from the garden without giving ahead of time. Build up the bank account of the soil and it will pay you dividends for a long time. The goal is to get the microbial activity in the soil working so that your plants are absorbing the maximum amount of nutrients. When this happens they will have a healthier immune system and will more easily ward of disease, pests and will increase taste and yield.

Here are four things to remember:

Soil - Help your soil become healthy by adding compost and soil conditioners

Air - Make raised beds and don’t compact the soil to ensure for plenty of oxygen to get to the roots

Water - Water your plants deep so that the roots are reach-ing deep for water.  Don’t water too much or in the eve-nings when mold can grow.  Water in the mornings. 

Sunshine - Plant your plants where they can get plenty of sunlight for at least 6 or more hours each day.

Below is a downloadable file you can print and keep handy.

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How to Make Nutrient Rich Soil

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This is perhaps the most important yet most over-looked element of growing delicious nutrient rich food. 

There are two key ingredients to good soil:

1. Fertility - The amount of nutrients it currently contains and can contain􀀁

2. Structure - The layers and particles that make up the soil itself􀀁

Ideally you want to test your soil to determine it’s pH levels.You can buy a kit at your local hardware store or contact your local county extension office to find out more. The reality is that most soil is depleted of both fertility and good structure so we are going to help both.

It is amazing to see the similarities between soil and our blood.􀀁 Like our bodies, plants also like a neutral pH around 7, they need nutrients to thrive, and they work best in an optimal environment. In this case, the soil should drain well and not be too sandy but at the same time be able to crumble in your hand and so that the roots can easily absorb proper water and nutrient levels.  

In order to help your soil thrive, you will want to regularly add nutrients and materials that turn into humus that then help it drain easier (more crumbly) as well as add compost.


By following the above steps you will help create the optimal conditions for your plants to thrive and in turn pass along the nutrients from the soil to your body. The plants are conduits to take nutrients from the soil and deliver them in a delicious way through your favorite foods􀀁 


Did you know?

The human body is made up of minerals and nutrients and works optimally when replenished with fresh supplies of these on a regular basis. A Reader’s Digest article years ago stated how “researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center confirmed the ancient account in the Torah that every element found in the human body can also be found in the soil.”

AMAZING!

Happy Planting, Jared

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