Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keeping Plants Healthy with Proper Gardening Soil

Gardening soil is the foundation on which the garden is built, so building nutritious soil is the first thing that a gardener should focus on when implementing a new garden, or improving on a garden that is already in the works.  There are many people, due to recent problems with fertilizers carrying dangerous viruses, who are moving toward organic gardening so that those issues are not a problem anymore in their food supply.

Gardening soil can be improved through the use of compost, where grass clippings and kitchen remains are piled together and allowed to decompose for a few weeks, all the while adding more clippings, leaves and other organic material to the pile.  After that time, there is a warm, rich soil that is made of the decaying matter, which is nutritious for all plants in the garden.

Signs of Malnutrition

If a garden is lacking in nutrition, such as if strong mulch is not used from the beginning or even used at all, then the plants will reflect the lack of good gardening soil.Sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether it is a nutrient deficiency or if it has something to do with insects or some other problem in the garden.  However, there are some tell-tale signs of malnutrition in most plants.

When plants are not getting what they need from the gardening soil, then there is often discoloration to the foliage of the plant.  In addition, the plant will all of a sudden stop growing the way it was, so that there is little to no new growth on the plant.Also, the plant will seem to be more sensitive to the amount of water it is getting, as well as increased sensitivity to heat and cold.If a plant is getting too much fertilizer, then sometimes the leaves will look scorched, although this is not a problem when using natural mulch from a compost pile.

There are specific gardening soil deficiencies that have specific symptoms, which if diagnosed, can allow the gardeners to rectify the problem and bring back their healthy plants once again.  If the plants have a calcium deficiency, then the leaves of the plant will look hook shaped and the tips of new growth might die without any seeming cause.  To fix this problem, mulch needs to be added that is calcium specific and the plants will soon be back to normal again.Another deficiency that has noticeable attributes is magnesium, which usually turns the leaves of the plant a yellow color.  Using Epson Salts will usually rectify this issue.

For more about gardening please visit www.organicgardeningzone.com

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