Organic gardening is a great way to live a healthier lifestyle, but it does take a bit of work to get the greatest results. The best organic gardening can easily produce as much food as non-organic, and the food also tastes much better. One of the biggest keys to successful organic gardening is the soil, and here's what your soil needs to make your garden great.
The majority of plants require a pH level between 6.5 and 6.8 in order to properly absorb nutrients, especially phosphorous. Still, there are some plants that prefer more acidic or basic soil, so it's important to choose plants that work in the same pH range. Also, test your soil periodically to ensure the pH is where it should be. If it is too alkaline, organic matter can be added to help rebalance the soil.
Of the 14 necessary nutrients required for plant growth, the primary nutrients of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) are the most important. These can be obtained from a wide variety of organic fertilizers, which come in numerous concentration levels (N-P-K ratio). Generally, a standard organic 5N-5P-5K fertilizer will give your organic garden all the primary nutrients it needs.
In addition to the 3 primary nutrients, organic gardening also requires sulfur (S), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), the 3 secondary nutrients.
Any good organic gardening soil you buy should contain the required amounts of these secondary or intermediate macronutrients. The reason these are referred to as secondary is not because they are less important for plant growth, but because of the much lower concentration of primary nutrients generally found in soils.
Finally, plants also require very small amounts of other trace minerals in order to reach their maximum growth and yield, including iron (Fe), boron (B), chlorine (Cl) and copper (Cu). Again, any good organic gardening soil should already contain plenty of these elements.
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