5 Healthy Ways To Improve The Soil Of Your Garden In Costa Rica:
There is a lot of truth in the phrase “healthy floors create healthy people”. In our modern world, most of the soils we use for agriculture are seriously deficient in the minerals that plants and humans need for good health. Bad farming practices have taken an enormous toll on our precious soils: every year, incredible amounts of soil are lost as runoff into our rivers and streams.
As our soils become less fertile, more and more chemical fertilizers and pesticides are needed to grow crops to feed our people. The final result? Food crops that are nutritionally inferior and contain chemical residues.
A growing number of concerned farmers and gardeners are changing the way we work with the soil to grow our food. We are now returning to a natural approach to returning the gift of soil fertility to the land. It is often referred to as “remineralizing the earth”. Here are some easy ways to remineralize your garden soil for healthy plants and optimal health.
5 ways to improve your garden soil
1. Make your own compost fertilizer
Made from organic materials from the kitchen, grass clippings, leaves and certain animal manures from chickens, goats, cows and horses. When the pile is done, it looks and smells of mountain soil. Vermicomposting is another option that gardeners use to make nutrient-rich fertilizers for the plants.
2. Limestone powder
Another valuable addition to your compost and soils. Dolomite limestone is rich in calcium, magnesium and trace elements. It helps increase the alkalinity of acidic tropical soils and can be found in leading Ag supply stores as Carbonato de calcio.
Ash can be a useful supplement that contains potassium and trace elements. So save these ashes in front of the campfire and fire pit to recycle into the soil of your garden. In addition, it has been found that ground charcoal forms a matrix for the microbiological community in the soil. It also cleans the soil and holds nutrients until plants can utilize them. Sifting the ashes allows you to collect and pulverize the charcoal pieces to add to your compost. This is often referred to as biochar or terra preta.
4. Stone dust
This product is available in most hardware stores across the country. Called polvo de piedra, it comes from the large stone crushers that produce gravel. The sieved powder is loaded with trace elements for your plants. It’s easy to apply stone dust, limestone, and ash around your trees and ornamental plants. Apply small amounts to your compost and soil regularly, rather than large doses that can actually stifle the growth of the plants.
5. Ocean water
This can also be a valuable source of micronutrients and microbes that are beneficial to your soil. Use only 3 ounces. from sea water to 1 gallon of fresh water; Apply this to your compost or around your trees and ornaments several times a year. Collect sea water in clean coastal areas. Another gift from the ocean, algae extract, can be useful as a foliar spray for your plants and contains many important nutrients that plants can absorb through their leaves. It is available as Extracto de Alga Marina in a leading Ag supply store. This product is particularly useful for patios and balconies with limited space.
Best wishes to our gardeners in Costa Rica.
See also: Versatile superfood thrives in tropical climates
This article was published for 2015. You can read more of Ed Bernhardt’s monthly Home Gardening columns here.
For more information on tropical gardening – of course – visit Ed at the New Dawn Center or contact him at [email protected]