After using soil test kits to see what your plants and soil lack, you should have now noticed that your plants require more potassium, zinc, and other essential elements. One of the easiest ways to recover this is by adding nitrogen but keep in mind that synthetic applications can pose a threat to both your plants and soil.
So, I personally recommend using natural ways to improve your soil’s fertility. Because aside from its natural composition, it brings a lot of benefits along with it as well. Not just limited to improving your soil’s fertility.
Improving your soil’s fertility will be good for your plants since this provides them with more nutrients. Promoting good health and faster growth and development.
What Is Soil Fertility?
So, what is soil fertility, and why is it a big deal?
For starters, soil fertility is one of the attributes of soil that sustains the growth and health of your plants. Improving soil fertility can be done through organic and inorganic ways. But as mentioned, natural methods are more likely to bring the best results than synthetic ones due to their chemical properties that can be harmful.
What Affects Soil Fertility?
Most soils have natural fertility, and some potting mixes that are usually for sale have fertilizers that come along with it. Your job is simply to maintain the fertility of your soil whether you purchased or made it.
There are a lot of elements that can affect soil, one of which is the parent materials from which the soil has developed. They can cut off from the plants themselves, soil water, pests, soil pores, etc. This is why it is important to regularly fertilize your soil for them to keep on providing nutrients to your plants.
In terms of improving the soil, this can vary as well as there are natural methods and synthetic methods for this.
Below, you will find all the right natural methods, which I have personally used over the years.
6 Effective Ways To Improve Soil Fertility
1) Organic Matter
You can never go wrong with the right organic matters. I use organic matter in all my plants, and ended up having great results!
This is because organic matters provide additional nutrients and food for the microorganisms that live in your soil. Organic matters also hold soil particles into aggregates and improve the water holding capacity of the entire soil.
This is why adding various organic matter is one of the best ways to improve your soil’s fertility. They are widely available as well so you can either purchase organic matter soil amendments at your nearest garden store or go pick and clean organic matters outdoors.
Compost is an organic material used to help plants grow and fertilize them. They are basically good for the soil and plants because it supplies nutrients as well. However, it is recommended that it is better to mix compost with fertilizers rather than using it alone.
Compost and fertilizers work really well if used properly.
The ingredients of compost can vary, so you can make your own compost or purchase one. But make sure to only buy compost from high-quality suppliers.
3) Mixed Cropping
This method is underrated, but it definitely does not mean it is not effective. Planting different crops in the same field is a well-known method to prevent soil erosion. So, how can it help in terms of fertility?
Specifically, deep-rooted vegetables are great crops to improve soil fertility naturally. This is because of their fertilizing properties spreading across the soil.
As mentioned, organic matter is one of the best ways to improve soil fertility, and animal manure is known to be highly effective for fertilizing soil. Animal manure is commonly used for adding nitrogen purposes.
Nitrogen is also one of the elements that play a vital role in fertile soil. Animal manure is a good choice for this. I use animal manure from livestock, and not from factory-farmed animals. This is to ensure that the animal manure I am getting is purely natural.
I do not recommend getting manure from factory-farmed animals because these animals might be unhealthy and their droppings might have pathogens that can contaminate your entire garden. Manures from healthy animals are no guarantee as well but they are definitely a safer bet.
I usually wait about three months first before applying the manure to my soil. This will give the manure the chance to dry out and be free of contaminating components.
They are widely available in garden centers as well, but you can pick mulch from outdoors too. Just make sure to clean it thoroughly before applying it to your soil, because dirty mulch can do more harm than good.
6) Plant Waste
Every time I have plant waste, I do not just throw it away. Instead, I turn and make it into compost to improve my soil’s fertility. I simply clean it thoroughly then add all of it to my soil, and as expected, my soil’s fertility has improved, and my plant’s growth and development have been booming!
This is without a doubt one of the cheapest ways to improve your soil’s fertility.
Final Thoughts On How To Improve Soil Fertility
Improving soil fertility should be one of your top priorities as a gardener. I have taken soil fertility for granted once before, and my plants either died or had complications in terms of growth. To prevent this from happening to you, I highly encourage you to regularly monitor your soil’s fertility to keep both your plants and soil in pristine condition.
You may use one or more of the ways above to improve the fertility of your soil. Always keep in mind to check up on its fertility rate so that you won’t be surprised to see a dried-up garden.
If you have questions or anything to share, do not hesitate to comment down below!