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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brodsky

Improving soil quality (ideas outside of compost incorporation)

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Soil quality is a common problem in landscapes. So, for this blog article, I've decided to give my thoughts on the following article "" which describes ways in which people can improve the quality of their soil.

1) "Adding hummus" --> potting soils and composts are sold at pretty much every garden center. My belief about them is that they rot and decompose quickly, creating a poor planting medium. However, as a topdressing on an established garden bed, it actually seems like a good idea to include these in plantings. Good tip. This tip doesn't only apply to garden beds actually. I believe that a thin layer of compost added to a lawn can only benefit it the grass.

2) "Build and preserve hummus" --> to be honest, this one seems pretty much the same as the last one, so there's nothing that I can say here. They mention that adding mulch helps, but I'd like to disagree. People routinely remove mulch out of garden beds or pile it onto non-biodegradable fabrics, so I don't see mulch being something that'll eventually improve soil quality, given that its likely to be removed out of a garden bed by the time it starts to decompose properly.

3) "eliminate compaction" --> they mention "deep digging, raking, and milling" as ways to eliminate compaction in garden beds. And that's a decent tip, though I've never heard of milling.

4) "regulating the pH value" --> this is something I personally never do, as I'm not familiar with the application of pH adjusting chemicals. However, this is a useful tip and something to do in the future

5) "soil improvement through minerals" --> never dabbled in any of these, though I've heard that adding sand to soil is a bad idea. I'm vague on this, but this is all good stuff

6) "soil improvements through plants" --> this is an interesting one. When plants die or are pulled out, it's actually not a bad idea to simply dig them into the soil and leave them there to rot and be used up to feed newer plantings: messy but beneficial.

7) "diverse crop rotation and mixed crops" --> an important point for vegetable growers, but I'm not familiar with this sort of work

compost, when added to garden soil can enrich it

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