Planting and growing cover crops will benefit your soil for many seasons to come. It is a valuable method for building up soil health and improving its oxygenation through the labyrinth of corridors constructed by the cover crop’s root system. Legumes like alfalfa, beans, and peas make great cover crops. They fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into forms consumable by other plants in the soil. Turning the cover crop into a green ’manure’ crop by incorporating the whole plant into the soil is a great way to add organics to your soil, however, if you want to plant immediately after growing your cover crop, remove your plants, leaving some of the root system in the soil. Then compost the green bit at home or pop it in the green bin for us to do it for you.
Prioritising cover crops equally with planting food crops will improve soil health tremendously. Alternate your beds, no matter how small, by planting food crops in one bed and a cover crop in another bed one season, and then switching the next season. You will be able to quickly observe the marvellous results.
Composting is a process of recycling organic matter that creates super-food for your soil.
There are many complex processes going on in a compost pile and equally as many reasons for how it helps your garden. It speeds up formation of soil humus which is essential for keeping your garden healthy because it feeds the population of microorganisms in your soil and maintains high levels of soil life. Humus is also a good source of microbes for the soil. Plus, it only takes a couple of centimetres of compost per season to increase your soil’s water retention and help prevent sickness - not to mention all of the food scraps and paper that are diverted from the landfill into the health of your soil.