Growing your vegetables takes a lot out of your soil. Cathy Isom fills you in about a few plants that enrich your garden soil. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
When it comes to enriching the soil in your garden, instead of turning to chemicals and or even organic fertilizers, try using what nature already provides… soil enriching plants. They have exactly what your garden needs: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, as well as a well-rounded collection of vitamins and minerals for the soil and soil life. Not only that, certain plants can perform many other duties, such as adding organic matter to the soil, preventing erosion, and breaking up compacted clays.
There are many attributes we can look for in a soil-enriching plant. Probably the most revered is the nitrogen-fixing plant, which has bacterial colonies on its roots that put nitrogen in the soil. Cover crops, for example, produce lots of organic material that keep the soil lively and revitalized, and some can even provide a bit of forage for us.
One example is Red Clover. It’s a nitrogen-fixing legume plant that has plenty of other redeemable attributes. In the garden, it is a winner because it provides a dense carpet that prevents weeds and retains moisture, its roots increase soil friability (crumbly texture), and it attracts beneficial insects. It is edible and used for many medicinal purposes.
Dynamic accumulators are often considered weeds, but they are deep-rooted plants that reach into soil and mine minerals that other plants can’t reach, bringing them to the surface. These include Comfrey, Dandelions, and Borage.
I’m Cathy Isom…