If you have poor garden soil you do not need to purchase amendments to make the soil healthier. There is a free way to do this, and it is organic if the rest of your garden is organic.
It is a method called chop and drop. All you do is place existing plants leaves and parts on top of the soil and let them decompose in place. You can also put these plant parts on a compost pile and compost them down later adding the compost to your garden’s soil. I do a little of both methods.
I like the chop and drop method because on top of adding nutrients to the soil as the matter decomposes, it also acts as barrier to weed growth and sun damage, like a mulch.
You probably don’t want to drop diseased or bug-infested leaves onto the soil since that will help the problem spread. Also you probably would not want to use weeds that have gone to seed since the seed will probably germinate in your garden. But naturally dying leaves and other plant parts that were otherwise healthy and cut back plant parts are a great option.
I have recently cut off some tomato plant leaves so the tomato fruit could get more sun and I use those as chop and drop. Whenever I see a yellowing leaf I will take it off and put it on the soil. When I deadhead flowers or cut plants back I use that as chop and drop. For my compost piles I use produce scraps, eggshells, old coffee grounds, used tea bags, etc from the kitchen and pulled weeds from the garden beds.
My garden improves every year using only these two methods for amending soil and I have never went to purchase any kind of amendment at the store.
If we all organically improve the soil around our home it helps the Earth heal. Maybe it’s just a small thing but maybe it would add up if more of us did this rather than adding chemicals, which ends up harming the soil and thus the Earth. Also the more diverse plants that we grow the more we help the Earth heal. The earth needs nutrients just like we do. Applying chemicals harms the Earth. If we all do a little something to help the Earth maybe we will be in a better position then what we are all facing now with climate change.
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