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Learning About Soil Nutrients; for better vegetable harvests

Scientific American posted an article that said the main cause of modern day nutrition levels of vegetables being at an all-time low, was due to soil depletion and the varieties of vegetables that we now grow. In other words we have favoured fast growing, pest resistant crops to secure extra and more bountiful harvests year on year. This method of agricultural farming is striping the soil of nutrients and depleting it’s capability to provide for future harvests. Coupled with technological experiments; like GMO (genetically modified) crops and chemical fertilisers that have added potentially harmful aspects to the soil, we are not in great shape to provide nutritious vegetables, or even rear good meat.

Growing organically and growing seasonally is the answer.

So how do I do this at home?
Growing your own veg (essentially farming your own crops) is not always that easy. We still have bug problems and soil issues. Most people will tell you though that starting your own vegetable garden in an organic way needs to start with building the soil. The quickest way to do this for most is creating raised beds.

If that is an option for you, then check out John’s ( video below;

A raised bed option means that essentially you can start again and you don’t have to wait several years to breed fertility back into your garden soil. So you can start growing organically from day 1.

What if I don’t have a garden?
mini greenhouses
This is where I am at… I don’t have a garden; I have a concrete back yard that also has to house my car. Our choice in this instance is to start growing in containers and learn to maximise the space with elevations of planting in easy to water containers.

I make use of mini greenhouses to bring on my seeds until they are hardy enough to fair better against pests. I’ll be showing you how in more of my YouTube videos.

Whatever your garden it starts with the soil!
Good soil allows a plant to uptake nutrients at a higher rate, meaning that when your vegetable crops are ready to harvest they are full of the right balance of elements for you.

According to SFGate fertile soil requires;
·         Nitrogen
·         Phosphorus
·         Potassium
·         Calcium
·         Magnesium
·         Sulphur
·         Micronutrients include iron, zinc, boron, copper, manganese, molybdenum and chloride

So we are looking for the right balance between organic matter (compost) and the addition of minerals.

Here is some really great advice by on choosing the right compost for your garden. I myself will be reading up so that next year I can start again with the best organic soil option for my garden.

I'll also be running some experiments to see what difference making my own soil mix makes, compared to using a standard compost.

Don’t worry, if you sign up to the newsletter you will never miss a step in my journey!

Sara x