The right mixture of different soil types will usually be enough to supply your plants with a stable foundation. But certain plants have specific needs as to what nutrients are in the soil.
For example, a flowering plant such as tomatoes need a high concentration of nitrogen during vegetative growth but high potassium and phosphorous.
Other plants such as those in the citrus variety have very specific macro and micro nutrient requirements. Leafy green plants like, lettuce and spinach, do well with high nitrogen levels.
By determining which soil supplements to add, we can somewhat control the nutrient content and provide the best environment for our plants to grow.
Soil supplements can also be used to change the physical structure of the soil. You can find that information in our “DIY Soil For Any Climate”.
Not sure what type of soil you’ve got? No problem. Head over to “Different Types of Soil”
#1. Organic Matter
The absolute best thing you can do for your soil is to add organic matter (compost), but like all good things, it takes time. Organic matter is decomposed organic material such as kitchen scraps, cardboard, grass cuttings, and dead plant matter. The decomposition process is a long process which can take months at a time.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is that once the organic material is unrecognizable, it is ready to use.
In the decomposing process, bacteria slowly break down organic material with the help of oxygen and moisture. The organic matter is now saturated with the beneficial bacteria (the microbes breaking down the matter) and are ready for your garden.
Adding organic matter to your garden helps to return nutrients to the soil and create a symbiotic relationship with your garden. With proper maintenance the bacteria will thrive and sustain itself in the soil.
Check out DIY Composter article to get started today! (Coming soon!)
Any livestock manure would make for a great addition to your soil. Manure skips the waiting period that it takes to compost organic material because it is already decomposed in the digestive system through the use of probiotics in the stomach and intestines. Manure helps to add beneficial bacteria to the soil and also helps boost the nitrogen content in the soil.
Careful consideration is needed as adding too much can send nutrient levels through the roof and disrupt your plants growth cycle.
When dealing with any type of manure always be mindful
that there is the risk of spreading diseases and pathogens.
Also, root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and potatoes should be harvested at least three months after application. Taller crops which are further away from the ground should not be at risk of contamination.
#3. Azomite Powder
Azomite powder is a great soil supplement as it adds virtually every mineral and trace element to your soil. Azomite Studies have shown that plants supplemented with azomite powder were higher yielding, produced larger and better tasting fruits and vegetables, and were at lower risk of disease than plants that were did not use azomite powder.
Azomite powder comes from an ancient Seabed in Utah. 30 million years ago a volcanic eruption filled the seabed with ash. This along with the sea created a mineral rich layer which is today being mined for azomite.
FACT: Azomite is actually a trademarked name for — hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate.
Earth worms are an absolute must-have for any farm or garden. Worms actually do two really fantastic things for your garden.
First of all, worms eat away at the dead organic matter in the soil. By doing this they are essentially cleaning your garden for you.
Secondly, worm poo is known as worm castings and these are just as beneficial to the health of your soil as any other manure.
Chances are you’ve got a backyard full of earthworms, but my favorite variety is the Red Wiggler because of their rapid reproduction rate.
I raise my worms in the Worm Factory Composter which allows me to control the environment in which I raise my worms. Check it out here Worm Factory 3-Tray Worm Composter
Check out my product review “The Worm Factory Review” (Coming soon!)
#5 Blackstrap Molasses
Widely known as “cane syrup”, molasses is a great soil supplement and can really boost the overall health of not only your plants but the beneficial micro-organisms within the soil. Molasses is a by-product of sugar refining.
Blackstrap molasses is packed with vitamins and minerals which aid to overall soil health. This thick brownish syrup also helps to feed the bacteria in the soil which keeps them healthy and multiplying. In turn this benefits the plants by allowing the bacteria to produce more nutrients for the plants and keeping your plants strong and healthy.
Garden pests should also decrease as they may find your plant is no longer weak enough for them to colonize.
Mixing the molasses into a composition of 3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses to 1 gallon of water. Mix ingredients together in a garden sprayer and spray evenly on soil. Repeat this process 1-2 times per week.
I personally used this mixture on my banana and papaya trees while in the vegetative state, and it worked wonders. My papaya tree accelerated in growth and produced rich green leaves. The same went for my banana tree!
This is the molasses I bought off amazon, which I highly recommend. Blackstrap Molasses
Author: Brennan Young
Thank you for stopping by! I started The-Urban-Farmer.com to share my love for creative gardening, healthy living, and home DIY’s. If you enjoy the content on this site, I encourage you to follow The-Urban-farmer.com via social media (below). I’d also love to hear from you so feel free to contact me!