Autumn/Winter is a good time to build up soil to feed your plants over the next growing season.
Good soil is rich in organic matter. Powdered fertilizer might provide the chemicals needed for plant growth, but can’t improve structure in the way compost does: holding water, providing pathways for roots, slow-release nutrients, and food for worms which aerate the soil.
Good soil is alive: Not just with worms, but with a million creatures invisible to the naked eye: bacteria, yeasts, fungi, actinomycetes and other microbes. These creatures all interact with plants to create a healthy rhizosphere (root zone).
Good soil holds moisture: Compost can hold up to 20% water without becoming waterlogged, so a 10cm layer of compost on your beds is like having a 2cm deep reservoir.
Six things you can do for your soil over winter:
The Council Green Gardener, Hannah Zwartz, offers sustainable and waterwise gardening advice to local residents, community groups and schools.
Community Visits and workshops are free.
To contact the Greener Gardener, call the Council on 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 or see www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/greenservices