Naturally, garden soil is rich in nutrients and minerals as it is formed by decayed plants and animals. But the truth is, with time, the mineral content of the soil declines. Don’t worry; to prevent this, all you have to do is add some necessary minerals, and you are good to go!
So if you’re looking for ways to save your garden soil from getting barren, then you should consider taking a few steps to restore the nutrients for you to grow healthy vegetables and plants. In this article, we will walk you through some of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to add minerals to your soil, as well as give you some insider tips on this.
That being said, let’s get into it!
6 Ways to Add Minerals
Here are six ways you can add minerals to your garden soil.
One of the most effective ways to revive the nutrients in your garden soil is by making compost primarily using organic matter. This is not only natural, but it also helps revitalize the minerals as most compost are rich in vitamins, micronutrients, and more which gives your soil some life.
Moreover, compost helps balance the soil’s pH and ensures adequate aeration for better plant growth. Also, garden soil is high in moisture content, so adding compost can help in drainage, which prevents asphyxiating the plant.
Making compost might come off as a complex process, but it is not, as you can make this right at your home.
Mulch is composed of organic materials like leaves, woods, chips, etc., which are put into the soil for decomposition. To put it simply, mulch is a blend of various elements that disintegrates to add nutrients and minerals when layered in the garden soil.
It is recommended you use an organic mulch rich in ingredients to promote the overall performance of your soil. This maintains the soil’s moisture while also adding stability. However, you should remember not to use an excessive quantity of mulch in your garden soil, as it can hinder the balance of the soil. Adding a thin layer mixed with the garden soil will do just fine.
Pro Tip: It’s best to prepare your mulch in the off-season so it gets decomposed properly before the growing season starts. This will help speed up the entire process.
For any gardener, wood comes in handy as there is always some lying around your garden. You can get fallen branches, twigs, wood logs, etc., that you could use to burn in the fireplace.
After burning the woods, you could use the ash to enrich the soil as it contains calcium and trace minerals that you can spread in your garden to ensure your plant does not have a mineral deficiency.
Dynamic accumulators are plants that are used in the garden to enrich the soil with nutrients. These plants contain taproots that enable them to reach deeper below the surface than other roots to provide the soil with essential minerals.
These plants can also be used for other purposes as well. For example, comfrey is a medicinal plant that bees adore, and Borage is another prevalent plant among bees.
Green manure is similar to dynamic accumulators as it rejuvenates the garden soil by providing it with essential minerals. The best time to grow these plants is during the off-season when you don’t have too many fruit or flower trees growing. Along with this, it also prevents the growth of weeds or any unwanted plants.
Use Those Fallen Leaves
Leaves are the ultimate source of minerals that you can get easily without going through much hassle. Dried or fallen leaves are used in compost, mulch, and almost every other substance to make the garden soil rich in nutrients.
You can collect the leaves from your backyard or even get them from your local service centers for your garden. Furthermore, they contain minerals, trace elements, and vitamins that you can save and use during the summers or spring months.
Fall is the best month to collect dead leaves and use them in your organic mulch or to make compost. You can keep these to decompose throughout the winter months and use them during the growing period.
Step-by-Step Guide for Adding Minerals to Your Garden Soil
So now that you have an overall idea of all that you could use and do to make your garden soil rich in minerals, you might be thinking, how do you add these correctly to your soil? Well, we got you.
In this section, we have compiled a guide for you that would help you in this process:
Start off by incorporating a thick layer of nutrient-rich compost in the soil of a depth of at least 10 to 12 inches. Then, use a tiller or shovel to complete the task.
The compost you use will enrich the soil with all the macro/micro-nutrients and trace minerals. This allows you to make some essential minerals available to your soil and plant.
You must inspect your garden soil properly to understand the concentration of minerals it requires. After this, use the minerals depending on the soil conditions. For example, if the soil is acidic in nature with a low concentration of calcium, it’s best to use eggshells in your compost or directly use lime to improve the soil quality.
Moreover, if the soil is neutral or slightly alkaline, then it’s ideal for adding sulfur extracts or peat moss along with sawdust for immediate results.
All the tiny organisms present in the soil impact the overall mineral and soil health. So it is recommended to use an organic fertilizer to increase the number of organisms and promote soil nutrients. This will ensure that all your plants are appropriately developed and don’t lack essential nutrients.
Although summer or spring are the months when all your plants are in their full glory, you must start all the care before the growing period sets in. The fall and the winter months are ideal for preparing your garden; you should cover the soil using compost and organic mulch to put all the goodness back into it.
As each organic constituent breakdown, they enhance the soil condition by enriching it with all the nutrients that plants require for growth. Then, you plant new seedlings in the area where you layered all the compost and mulch.
To sum it up, garden soil requires you to remineralize it so that your plants can thrive and are not deficient in essential nutrients. There are many ways to do this, like mixing organic mulch in the soil or spreading wood ash all over your garden to restore calcium and other minerals. Furthermore, it will also save all the fuss of changing the soil every growing season and make your plants healthier.
As a gardener, I hope you had a great time reading this article and found this helpful in your mission to restore the minerals of the garden soil.