By David Pendergast – www.agoragardens.com
One of the most important things we can do as gardeners is to take care of the soil in which we grow our crops. Home gardeners are no different than giant agribusinesses that feed millions of people. We fertilize the plants we grow in hopes for higher yields, but we must also be good stewards of the soil.
Today, organic growers have access to materials that serve the dual purpose of feeding both plants and soil at the same time. As long as your fertilizers are made from natural materials such as minerals mined from rock or deep oceanic water, you will be taking care of the soil while also fertilizing your plants. This is where the use of chemical only fertilizers will eventually weaken your soil. Chemicals will diminish your soil’s ability to retain water and over time, higher and higher amounts of chemicals will be required to stimulate plant growth. It is a downward spiraling cycle that is very harmful to the health of the soil.
In my experience, I have found that fertilizers sourced from the ocean are the best solution to effective soil and plant management. The benefits are numerous:
Environmentally safe with non-toxic effects
Increased nutritional density
Approved for organic production
Restores depleted soils
Easily repeated application with no harm of “burning” vegetables and plants
Plants germinate quicker, ripen earlier and retain high nutrition
Plants are more stress resistant
I encourage all growers to carefully read the labels on the containers. They are an excellent source of information, as are the experts at local garden centers. The more you learn about what we are putting in our soils, the more successful we will all become at organic sustainable gardening.