Improving Soil With Garden Fertilizers and Understanding Soil pH
Garden Soil Information
Soil is the foundation of a garden. If you're beginning a new garden, you'll want to learn about improving soil first. These resources cover soil types (how much clay do you have in your soil?), pH (you do not need a Ph.D to understand soil pH!) and amendments (garden fertilizers).
How to Make Compost
If you simply pile organic matter into a heap, yes, it will eventually break down. But for those who need natural garden fertilizer now, the process takes too long. You can speed things up by learning how to compost properly. Learn about building bins, compostable materials, layering and more.
How Mulch Affects Soil pH
Many people (including myself) tend to choose their mulch with soil pH in mind, so that, e.g., we avoid oak leaf mulch around plants that don't like acid. But does mulch selection impact soil pH? What other factors go into choosing the right mulch for your gardening needs?
If You Must Use Chemical Fertilizers....
If you're committed to organic lawn and garden fertilizers (which I highly recommend), start a compost pile. Otherwise, the secret of having a green lawn lies in following the sort of fertilizing schedule suggested by the “big bad purveyors of chemicals,” as detailed here.
Fall Cleanup: Sorting Leaves Into Mulch and Compost Bins
If you're seeking organic materials for a compost bin so that you can apply natural garden fertilizers to your landscaping, an excellent source is the autumn leaves you rake up every year. These leaves can also be used for mulch. Whether you have your fall refuse ticketed for compost or mulch, this article will help you organize.
Organic Lawn Fertilizers
Get Growing is one of the organic lawn fertilizers. Worried about having a green lawn while maintaining a good conscience, but don't have the time to make your own compost? Then this green lawn care product is for you.
Garden Cultivators: Small Rototillers
Sometimes, bigger is not better. If you have a small yard and are looking for a way to work garden fertilizers into the soil, using a small rototiller may be a better idea than trying to push one of those behemoths around! Of course, there are other factors to explore – an exploration I make in this article.
Testing Soil pH
Plant selection receives the glory. Improving soil does not get as much attention. That's wrong. Marie Iannotti sets us straight, discussing 5 soil-related topics in this introductory article: texture, structure, soil pH, organic matter and fertility. Learn, e.g., why and how to test soil pH.
Improving Soil and Soil Testing
Why is soil testing important? As Kelly Burke says, "Many nutrients tend to be over-applied resulting in imbalances in the soil and harmful effects on the environment." You simply don't know what your soil needs until you test it. About's Lawn Care Guide discusses the basics of soil testing in this article.
Basic Grounding in Soil Science
This Virginia Tech Extension introduction to soil covers all the basics: building healthy soil, improving soil structure, how to test your soil, adding organic matter, growing cover crops and green manures, adding garden fertilizers and correcting severe situations.
Online Topsoil Calculator
This site has an online topsoil calculator. Use it (it's free) to calculate how much topsoil you'll need for a given yard, and what it will cost you. The price, of course, pertains specifically to buying from this particular business; but if you just want to know how much topsoil you need, you can find out here -- and then get buy the topsoil wherever you wish.
Garden Fertilizers - The What / When of Garden Fertilizers
Mary Robson says, "Standing in a garden center looking at fertilizer packages can be confusing. What to apply? When to apply it?" In this article she answers those questions about garden fertilizers. Robson takes issue with the view of garden fertilizers inspired by Jerry Baker, the author of "Plants Are Like People."
Types of Garden Fertilizers
The University of Arizona Extension presents these garden fertilizer basics. Fertilizers are either "complete" or "incomplete." The former usually go by names like "10-10-10" (none of the numbers can be zeroes), while the latter have rather imposing names like "ammonium phosphate sulfate" and do carry a big fat zero under either the nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium heading.