One of the most important things you need in your backyard if you intend to grow your own food is good soil. Depending on where you live, you might have soil that can handle a lot of different fruits or vegetables, or you may be very limited. There are some natural ways to improve your soil as well.
Natural Ways to Improve Your Soil
Composting is super important to do whenever you are going to garden, especially if you are growing food. It helps to give you natural fertilizer to help your fruits, veggies, and herbs grow organically in your yard. Composting is also an ideal way to get the best soil possible. Composting simply involves reusing organic waste. There are different types of waste, including brown and green composting waste. This includes things like grass clippings, weeds, dry leaves, egg shells, manure (if you have animals outdoors), and food waste. Save them into piles and use it for mulch in the soil.
Encourage the Right Insects
You may not want any insects in your yard, but some of them are actually good for the soil. Naturally, some bugs aren’t great for your vegetable garden, but there are some that will work hard to keep your soil healthy. For example, lady bugs have larvae to improve the health of your soil and soldier beetles are great if you’re growing flowers and plants.
There are certain plants that will encourage these bugs to settle into your soil, including the following:
- Marigolds (also a deer deterrent!)
- Sweet clover
Add Cover Crops
Another thing you can add to your vegetable or herb garden in order o naturally improve the soil is planting cover crops. Cover crops are types of plants that you keep in your garden to provide nutrients to the soil. Even if these crops have been killed following a harvest season, keeping them in the soil adds nutrients to it. Legumes make really good cover crops, so keep those peas, beans, and alfalfa crops even after the main harvest season.
Make sure if you decide to get store-bought fertilizer for your soil, you use natural and organic varieties. Pay close attention to the labels and ask someone at the garden supply store for the most natural options. Usually having cover crops and mulch is enough for better soil, but this also depends on where you live.