Healthy gardens grow in healthy soil

For many in the Transition community, growing a garden is part of our culture. We seek out local and sustainable sources of food, and gardening organically in your backyard doesn’t get much more, pardon the term, ‘green’, when it comes to sourcing food.

Building healthy soil is the key to growing a productive and beautiful garden full of healthy plants. The soil feeds all plants  – trees, bushes, lawns, flowers, vegetables, berries – entire ecosystems depend on healthy soil.  

What better to build healthy soil than adding organic matter? Add compost (organic matter) to your soil in the spring before you plant, throughout the growing season, and again when you put your gardens to rest in the fall. You can never have too much compost! 

You can buy compost from garden centres and local farmers, or you can try making your own (DIY J) from scraps around your home: 

  • Yard waste resources like cut up dead plants, fall leaves, branches, sod all break down and add “brown” carbon rich nutrients to your soil.
  • Kitchen waste resources like fruit/veggie peelings and coffee grounds, (many gardeners omit meat and dairy) and green matter from your garden add “green” nitrogen rich material to soil. Pull and add the weeds before they go to seed.
  • Composted organic manure

There are many ways to compost at home but the simplest is pile composting, ie. layering greens, browns and manure (1/3, 1/3, 1/3), adding air by turning the pile (speeds up the process), and making sure it has the right moisture content – like a wrung out sponge.

If you don’t backyard compost but would like to try the using composted food scraps in your garden, Go Forth Compost Services is a local business that offers composting services to offices and households. They sell pails full.  They also offer workshops and tutorials. 

Local farmers and 4H clubs sell composted manure. Bags of composted manure can be purchased at the Farmer’s Market, Country Garden Greenhouse, Purity Feed, Art Knapps, and Lyons Landscaping. 

Cinnamon Ridge Farms also sells locally made compost by the container full or loader scoop. It is made from composted yard waste. It makes for a lovely top dressing under shrubs, trees, bushes and in your perennial garden. 

Do you have other great sources for compost? Share them on our Facebook page or send us an email.

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