Build Better Gardening Soil: Tillage

Let’s quickly cover four methods to building better gardening soil—chicken manure, rock powders, and cover crops.

Chickens and Rocks

You can use the power of the chicken to enrich your garden soil. Chicken manure is a great source of rich, organic material that can really add to your soil enrichment process. Chicken droppings provide a microbial boost to your soil. Another great way to enrich your garden soil is to use rock powders and or minerals. Using rock powders or slow-release minerals are a great way to fix any mineral deficiencies in your garden soil. Fixing these deficiencies will result in healthy crops and bigger yields.

Cover Crops

Planting cover crops is crucial for creating a sustainable garden. Cover crops feed soil, improve overall soil structure and make the soil fertile. Cover crops provide a breath of fresh air for your garden. The decaying roots of dead cover crops create channels that allow the penetration of both oxygen and water—creating growth for your garden vegetables.

Legumes are especially beneficial cover crops because they provide much-needed nitrogen while improving soil structure. Clovers, peas, alfalfa, and beans are great legumes to plant to enrich your garden soil. Clover and alfalfa are also great for attracting natural pollinators, such as Honeybees and bumblebees.

Alternate Crops

Be sure to put the same effort into growing cover crops as you do for your food crops. Plant a cover crop—next to a food crop. You can also alternate your crops (food and cover) the following growing season to keep the soil healthy. This provides great sustainability while improving your vegetable crop yield. Tillage Alternative can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but if you apply these methods, you garden will come together nicely. Check out this video detailing legumes—covering nitrogen fixation and succession planting: