My grandmother, who managed a working farm in my birthplace of Malta, gave me my first lesson on soil health when I was about seven. As we harvested lettuce for my rabbits, she said, “You cannot just take from the garden. You need to be prepared to give back.” She taught me that feeding the soil with aged rabbit manure would in turn feed our plants. Neither she nor I knew how many tiny soil workers it took to turn rabbit manure into plant nutrients, but we could see that strong, healthy plants grew from our well-fed soil.
Over the past 40 years, I have gardened in all types of soil. Feeding the soil and the life it contains with organic matter has remained my primary strategy for growing healthy plants. It is said that there are more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on earth. That’s a lot of “mouths” to feed! No wonder most gardeners never seem to have enough compost to go around. To help you keep your garden’s hidden workforce fed, here are six great strategies to boost your output and make composting easier.
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