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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Compost Makes Healthy Soil

North Texas soil can be challenging. Some folks struggle with black clay soil, while others have sandy soil. For good plant nutrition, a diverse and rich soil life is vital, because there are several systems working together unseen that keep plants nourished and protected.

Healthy soil is a living material, filled with beneficial microorganisms including bacteria, algae, fungi and protozoa. These diverse microorganisms keep the soil healthy, decompose organic matter, replenish soil nutrients, form humus, promote root growth, increase nutrient uptake and also break down herbicides and pesticides. Macro-organisms such as earthworms love organic matter and do a great job of aerating the soil and providing castings (rich waste).

Adding rich organic matter is one of the best things to keep soil healthy in the garden and landscape. Compost has the unique ability to improve soil physically, nutritionally and biologically. It can loosen up compacted soil, add nutrients and improve water retention.

For gardens, compost can by spread on top or worked loosely into the soil. On lawns, mulch leaves and grass clippings when possible. Top dressing with organic compost is another way to improve soil by spreading the compost or hiring a professional.

It is a natural process; organic matter provides food for the microorganisms that release nutrients like nitrogen into a usable form in the soil. Lawns can benefit greatly from a top dressing with organic compost, as it adds rich organic matter back to the soil. Stressed trees also respond well to compost application. Feeding the soil will create a better plant root environment to grow healthy plants.

Beau Propes is the owner of Earth Kind Services. For more information, visit