Organic Gardening Seymour IN

Preparing soil has two primary aims: tending to the soil’s physical structure and chemical-nutrient balance, which is influenced by pH. Soil structure, Sideman explains, is what holds plants upright, allows air spaces between particles for roots, and ensures that dirt holds enough moisture. When it’s dry, till the top 12 inches (deeper if soil is compacted) of your garden and determine what type of soil you have.

Stream Cliff Herb Farm
(812) 346-5859
8225 S. County Road 90 West
Commiskey, IN
 
Family Foundations Medicine
(812) 752-6202
40 E Cherry St
Scottsburg, IN
Services
Diabetes Education, Nutrition Counseling, Weight Management, Diet Plan, Sports Nutrition, First Consultation, Weight Loss
Hours
Sunday:Closed
Monday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday:Closed

Gnc Nutrition Center
(812) 372-7578
3029 25th St
Columbus, IN
 
Stream Cliff Herb Farm
(812) 346-5859
8225 S. County Road 90 West
Commiskey, IN
 
The Hoosier Mushroom Co.
(812) 988-6926
30 E Washington St.
Nashville, IN
 
Tanya R Simmons
(812) 352-8440
2202 N Totten Cir,# A
North Vernon, IN
Services
Diabetes Education, Nutrition Counseling, Weight Management, Diet Plan, Sports Nutrition, First Consultation, Weight Loss
Hours
Sunday:Closed
Monday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday:Closed

Total Fitness Of Columbus
(812) 669-0564
3075 Middle Rd
Columbus, IN
 
Health And Beauty Connection
(812) 669-4292
1817 24th street
Columbus, IN
 
Rich Farm Garden Supply
(765) 584-2500
985 W. State Road 32
Winchester, IN
 
Wissco Irrigation
(317) 587-7100
5652 Georgetown Rd
Indianapolis, IN

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Living Spaces—Dig It—Prep for Spring

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By Victoria L. Freeman, PhD

Gardeners know there’s nothing quite as bewitching as the first signs of green life pushing aside soil. Until those delicate sprigs peek through, you’re never quite sure if you’ve done what it takes to cultivate garden vitality.

Healthy soil is paramount, especially for organic gardens, says Eric Sideman, PhD, organic farmer and crop specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association. “Robert Rodale once said that conventional farmers feed crops but organic farmers feed soil, and he was right,” Sideman notes.

Preparing soil has two primary aims: tending to the soil’s physical structure and chemical-nutrient balance, which is influenced by pH. Soil structure, Sideman explains, is what holds plants upright, allows air spaces between particles for roots, and ensures that dirt holds enough moisture. When it’s dry, till the top 12 inches (deeper if soil is compacted) of your garden and determine what type of soil you have. Sandy soil, which feels grainy or coarse, contains plenty of air but doesn’t hold moisture well. Clay, on the other hand, tends to suffocate plants. Loam—a combination of sand, silt, and clay—yields an ideal balance of support, air, and moisture.

Regardless of your particular structure, Sideman says that adding organic compost is the best strategy for improving soil quality. He recommends staying away from sludge composts. Instead, use a nutrient-dense mixture of fast-decomposing materials like aged animal manure or homemade compost.

While attending to structure, take a soil sample for pH testing. Kits are available at most garden centers; for personalized recommendations, contact the agricultural extension department of your state university. Ideal pH is 6.5, says Sideman. Gardens that are more acidic (lower pH) require amendments like powdered limestone or oyster shell. For soil that’s too alkaline (higher pH), mix in pine needles or coco peat. Follow the amendment quantity guidelines suggested by your test results and till in amendments to root depth, or around 12 inches for most plants.

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