Synthetic Chemicals, Compost and Your Soil
To have healthy soil, ditch the synthetic fertilizers and bring on the compost.
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The secret to successful gardening is healthy soil. In a single tablespoon of healthy soil, there are literally billions of organisms — from protozoa and nematodes to bacteria and fungi that together form interdependent food chains.
In other words, the soil itself is a living organism, and it needs to be treated as such. But every year many gardeners destroy the vital soil food web by using synthetic chemicals, specifically synthetic fertilizers.
The frequent use of synthetic fertilizers leads to an accumulation of soluble salts, and those salts are toxic to the organisms of the soil food web. That leads to a variety of problems, including decreased soil fertility, a lack of vigor, lower yields, reduced flowering and greater susceptibility to pests and diseases.
So if you've been relying on synthetic fertilizers, consider making the switch to organic products, and use the one thing that can keep your soil healthy: compost. Compost teems with all the organisms that make up the soil food web. When applied routinely to the soil, whether around the base of plants or spread evenly over an entire garden bed, compost makes soil come alive. And in the process, it creates conditions that lead to healthier, happier plants with amazing vigor and the ability to ward off pests and diseases.