As my summer internship with the EGP comes to a close, I have a few last tidbits of knowledge to share.
A lot of our Sharing Gardeners have been working on amending their soil in preparation for the fall/winter season, which is the process of replenishing the nutrients in the soil that may have been consumed during the heavy growing season in the summer. There are a few ways to do this:
- Mulching with dynamic nutrient accumulators
- Cover crops
Compost is simple, you just need to use the compost you’ve been adding to all summer (remember 25/75 greens and browns!) to your soil
Comfrey, which I mentioned in a previous post of mine, is an example of a fantastic dynamic nutrient accumulator. It has a taproot that pulls nutrients from deep soil layers and those nutrients accumulate in the leaves of the plant. A great way to improve your soil is to cut off the leaves of comfrey plants and lay them down on top of the soil in your garden bed. If you still have veggies growing, that’s great—lay the comfrey leaves in and around the growing veggie plants for an extra nutrient boost!
Cover cropping- this step seems daunting, I know, but Leslie provided some great resources for getting started with cover cropping at a cover cropping workshop at our Gloria Dei Sharing Garden. Take a look at these awesome links:
- Cover cropping in home gardens: http://douglas.uwex.edu/files/2013/01/Cover-Crops-for-Home-Garden-A3933-02.pdf
- More info: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/cover-crops-improve-soil-zmaz09onzraw.aspx
- Timing: https://www.westcoastseeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Charts_CoverCrop_BC.pdf