EARTH-KIND® Environmental Soil Management Program

Forest Path

We should manage landscape beds, vegetable gardens and fruit plantings in much the same way that Mother Nature sustains the soil in a mature hardwood forest.

EARTH-KIND® Environmental Soil Management is a compost and mulch only approach. In most native soils the incorporation of compost and application of mulch to the soil surface will:

• Increase microbial and earthworm populations which will loosen and aerate the soil and improve soil and plant health;

• Promote the development of root systems which are larger and healthier that will explore a greater volume of soil for water and nutrients;

• Eliminate the need for commercial synthetic or organic fertilizers;

• Reduce salt burn on leaf margins in areas with salty irrigation water;

• Greatly reduce the need for supplemental irrigation;

• Promote the development of a more vigorous plant, thereby increasing the plant’s ability to withstand pest infestation and disease.

For sandy and loam soils, incorporate 3-6 inches of finished, plant based compost. For clay soils, incorporate 3 inches of expanded shale, then 3 inches of plant based compost to create raised beds 6 inches above the surrounding soil. Crown beds (make them higher in the center) to further improve drainage.

Top beds with a 3 inch layer of shredded organic mulch. This “living mulch” will act as a super slow release all natural fertilizer. Replenish the mulch in the beds twice a year (usually spring and fall) or as necessary to bring the mulch layer back up to a full three inches.

“If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life: Worms, fungi, microorganisms of all

kinds…Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for long.”

Wendell Berry

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