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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Conquer North Texas Soils by Composting

Feb 05, 2016 04:17PM ● By Beau Propes

Compost is nature’s way of keeping the soil in balance. The soil in North Texas can be a challenge to grow plants. It can be extreme, ranging from clay to sand. Drought conditions in recent years have also taken a toll on landscapes in the area.

Compost is a great way to improve long-term plant health and reduce stress to plants. The National Compost Council states, “Healthy soil is a living material, ideally filled with beneficial microorganisms including bacteria, algae, fungi and protozoa.” These microorganisms keep soil healthy, decompose organic matter, replenish soil nutrients, form humus, promote root growth, increase nutrient uptake and break down herbicides and pesticides. These little guys perform amazing feats, and all of that goes on in our soil.

One way to help those essential microbes in our soil is by providing organic matter. One way this can be done is by mulching leaves and grass clippings when possible. An additional way is to add organic compost that also contains more microorganisms and humus. It’s a natural process; organic matter provides food for the microorganisms in the soil that release nutrients like nitrogen into a usable form in the soil. Microorganisms also make humic acid and fulvic acid that are essential for good plant growth and nutrient availability. These microorganisms are essential for any additional fertilizers we use to feed our plants. There must be healthy in the soil to release the nutrients to the roots.  Macro-organisms such as earthworms love organic matter, too.

Compost is one of the best things to keep soil healthy in our garden and landscape. It loosens up compacted soil, adds nutrients to the soil and retains water so we can water less. Compost has the unique ability to improve soil physically, nutritionally and biologically. Lawns can benefit greatly from a top dressing of organic compost, especially after a core aeration. So do the soil a favor and feed it, because it’s alive. Create a better plant root environment, because healthy plants come from healthy roots.

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