The thought of needing to rebuild urban soils probably strikes most of you reading this a funny at best and a waste of time at worst. What possible reason could you have for rebuilding urban soils, you are not a farmer or rancher why should you care about the quality of the soil underneath your feet.
Well the simple reason for this is that soil is quite literally what everything is built upon and I know that is a bit tongue and cheek but it is still true. I don't just mean the literal built upon like a building on a foundation but also the web of life that supports life as we know it is also built upon the soil at our feet. Now in the grand scheme of things I will concede that the soil quality out on farms and ranches might be more important than the one in your front yard but that doesnt mean the soil there isn't important.
Sheet mulching defined in its simplest terms is the layering different types of organic materials on top of the ground in order to establish a garden plot without tilling the soil. This technique can be applied to existing lawns, areas with poor soil or even over concrete or solid rock to create “soil” for growing things in.
Fresh Food From Small Spaces- The Square Inch Gardeners Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
By R.J. Ruppenthal
A generalized look at the techniques and methods used to make the most of small spaces and urban locations for growing your own food. This book is good for beginners and people who are not familiar with some of the basics of gardening and other techniques for composting, mulching and growing your own seedlings in the spring. The part that jumped out to me the most were the sections on sprout growing and their nutritional qualities and some basic info mushroom production.
Building soil organic matter in your crop fields is not a very hard task to accomplish at least when it comes to the methods used to do it. The hardest part about increasing your soil's organic matter percentage is the time it takes and that the more organic matter you have in your fields the harder it is build even more. Before I jump into on how to add to the organic matter content in your soil I first want to touch lightly on what causes organic matter to be depleted in the first place.
Composting your leftover food scraps in the winter can be a challenge. With the cold temperatures you can't get things to decompose like you want them to outside. So that leaves you with a few options left on the table.
Soil organic matter is added to the soil through the addition of decaying plants and animals. But to increase soil organic matter can be a tricky proposition when you are using the soil for gardening or farming. The very tools used to plant, weed and harvest a crop will work against you if your goal is to add organic matter. Organic matter present in the soil is a combination of carbon and nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and what ever else might be floating around in living things. The nutrients/minerals are used by all living things as building block for various structures that are contained within them. If you look at silica for example, it is used by plants to,
Organic matter is a essential part of soil that gets overlooked in many conversations about soil. While most people will be talking about soil pH balance, its composition or how well it grows crops they will leave out organic matter.
This is a mistake.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.