All soils, no matter their initial quality, can benefit from the addition of regular applications of organic matter. This addition can take place via several different materials. It is not necessary to till the material into the soil; in fact, tilling serves to help destroy the fragile ecosystem that keeps organic gardens healthy. By simply applying organic matter on top of existing soil, gardeners encourage that ecosystem to do the mixing for them.
Following organic garden soil enriching advice helps gardeners to build up their garden soil by working with nature rather than against it. Conventional chemical methods of garden soil enriching are at best neutral, and at worst harmful to natural insects and microorganisms that play a part in a successful garden. Even if a gardener only chooses to grow grass in that soil, the grass will be lush, healthy and thick. If a gardener chooses to grow edible plants or flowers, the results will be visibly evident as well. A gardener can rest assured that family, friends, children and pets will not be harmed in any way by this choice of gardening method.
Compost can be made or bought by a gardener. Compost is decomposed plant matter, suitable for digging into garden soil. Leaf mold is similar, only it is made from decomposed leaf matter. Aged manure from horses, chickens or rabbits may also be used to amend soil organically.
Mulching around plants with mulches made of natural materials (not rubber or plastic) serves multiple purposes. It helps guard soil and plant roots against sudden temperature changes. Mulch also helps soil retain moisture. Finally, as it sits, it naturally begins to decompose. Earthworms, which are present in healthy soil, will begin to drag away bits of the mulch as it decomposes. They will bring these bits underground, effectively saving a gardener the hard and unnecessary work of tilling.
Biochar is a classic method of using discarded brush that would otherwise require disposal. This method creates beneficial charcoal out of brush by lighting it on fire while it is in a big soil pit. A gardener then damps the fire with soil, causing it to smolder. The smoldering goes on until the brush has burned down into charcoal, at which point the gardener puts the fire completely out. When the biochar cools, it is ready for use by digging it into garden soil.
Organic garden soil enriching is a never-ending and ongoing process. As plants and organic matter naturally decompose and are digested by insects and microorganisms, they become part of the soil on a daily basis. Therefore, gardeners seeking to make the most of their organic garden soil should do all they can to encourage this natural process. Additions of large amounts of compost, manure, biochar and other organic matter should be made at a rate of about 1 inch of depth during the late spring and early fall. This rate may be adjusted depending on how much seasonal soil erosion a gardener witnesses in his area.
Lighting a brush fire, even if it is controlled in a big soil trench, may be illegal in some areas. Gardeners should check with their local statutes to make sure such fires are allowed, if they choose to create biochar.
Organic garden soil enrichment can encourage gardeners to consider making their own compost. In addition to the positive environmental impact of recycling biodegradable waste into something useful, gardeners can save a lot of money. Home composting results in lower garbage and recycling bills, as well as not having to pay money for organic soil amendments at garden centers.