HHH Blog

March for Gardeners: It’s all about the soil!


All of the lovely fruits and vegetables we hope to harvest from our gardens this year rely on the soil they grow in for their nutrients. And healthy soil is full of bacteria! “These soil microorganisms — particularly bacteria and fungi — cycle nutrients and water to plants, to our crops, the source of our food, and ultimately our health. Soil bacteria and fungi serve as the “stomachs” of plants. They form symbiotic relationships with plant roots and “digest” nutrients, providing nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients in a form that plant cells can assimilate. Reintroducing the right bacteria and fungi to facilitate the dark fermentation process in depleted and sterile soils is analogous to eating yogurt (or taking those targeted probiotic “drugs of the future”) to restore the right microbiota deep in your digestive tract.” https://www.theatlantic.com/…/healthy-soil…/276710/

Now is the perfect time to inoculate your own compost bins with fresh compost from our Keene Compost Facility. All of the leaves we brought to the curb last fall have been shredded. The very large pile has been turned regularly and is steaming right at this moment! https://wastebits.com/…/city-of-keene-compost-facility “Leaves are storehouses for most of the nutrients that plants need to survive. As they break down, the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace nutrients they contain are released into the soil by the action of microorganisms and fungi that consume the leaf tissues and deposit their own rich waste into the soil. Other decomposers, such as earthworms and burrowing insects, are attracted to the nutrient-rich soil produced by the rotting leaves and contribute not only their own waste but tunnels they create and that aerate the soil.” https://homeguides.sfgate.com/good-add-shredded-leaves

Bedding from your neighbor’s chicken coop is another great option. Composted manure (old animal poop mixed with their bedding) from your local farm, for us, Stonewall Farm or pig farmer, for us, Archway Farm, and last year’s City of Keene leaf composts have all recently fed our compost bins here at Healthy Home Habitats. “The decomposition of (these) organic materials feeds the soil so that it can feed the plants so that they can feed us(!)” https://www.onegreenplanet.org/…/why-good-soil-makes…/

What about weed seeds in leaf compost? Good Question! As our weather warms up and the sun shines bright, the heat generated by our own well-turned and balanced compost bins kills any weed seeds. https://tinyurl.com/7faz8cxu

Add this now well-composted mix to the top of your garden after Memorial Day as you plant your own, homegrown, truly “fruitful” and productive season of vegetables. Check out our “Easy-Peasy Vining Vegetables” step by step, short-video series for beginning family gardeners at https://tinyurl.com/y78a3r9t
UNH Extension also offers a great resource on all things to do with compost: https://tinyurl.com/44zwjbrf