Perhaps that is why we, as a Family love to collect. There are so many items out there that can not be replaced or even reproduced in our country. Quality is just one example.
One good reason to go green in the garden is to preserve the life in the soil. When it’s compromised by excess heat, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, or over-tillage, our plants suffer. On the other hand, a soil that is full of beneficial microorganisms grows healthier, more productive plants. A balanced soil ecosystem supplies the right nutrients to plants at the right time, it fights off diseases, and it has a good balance of drainage and moisture-holding capacity.
Good quality manure compost is the primary way to add beneficial microorganisms to the soil – for all plants. We recommend adding up to 50-percent compost to our poor Central Texas soils when first building a bed or planting a tree, and supplementing once or twice a year thereafter. In regions where there is more rainfall, a cooler climate and a better soil to begin with, the life in the soil is naturally preserved longer. After applying manure compost initially, it might not need replenishing as much. Non-manure compost is helpful, but the variety and quality of beneficial microorganisms contained in a properly finished manure compost are superior.
It all starts with the organic matter in and on the soil, which serves as a basic food source for our microbes. Basically, the entire soil-food web depends on plants and their debris, including compost.
We don’t want to reverse all of our good work, so now we must nurture our soil critters. Avoid synthetic fertilizers and other amendments that harm microbes, including soil sulfur. Sulfur is often used to temporarily lower the pH of alkaline soils, but it also compromises the health of our “micro herd.” Avoid over-tilling the soil, which upsets the soil ecosystem as well. Mulch is handy here again: it moderates the soil temperatures, conserves moisture, and protects the soil from compaction, maintaining the soil as a haven for our wild micro-life. Finally, keep the soil moisture level as moderate as possible – not bone dry nor saturated.
Our Senior Moment