Ways to Achieve an Organic Matter Rich Soil

Increasing the organic matter content of soil is one of the single-most effective means of improving soil quality. 

        

Leaves can be directly incorporated into the soil or composted.

Leaves can be directly incorporated into the soil or composted. Photo credit: Dan Machold Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

Double digging prior to organic matter incorporation.

Double digging prior to organic matter incorporation. Photo credit: laurenipsum Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Organic matter is derived from the breakdown of plant and animal residues by soil organisms such as earthworms, bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. The richest form of organic matter is …

Different Types of Compost


        
 

Example of ready to use compost. Photo credit: wisemandarine Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Many different types of compost can be used in the landscape to improve soil. According to the US Composting Council most compost is used for trees and shrubs, perennial beds, vegetable gardens, and lawns.

Composting is a naturally occurring process of decomposition found in nature. Home composting speeds up this process.

Compost can be made from almost any organic material. These materials will eventually break down into …

How to Add Organic Matter to Soil

Healthy soil is made up of many components. Soil texture, drainage, and nutrient content are all important ingredients that contribute to plant health.  One of the best ways to improve the ability of the soil to hold moisture, provide nutrients, and allow drainage is by adding organic matter into the soil.

Adding Organic Matter to Soil

  • Rototilling usually mixes organic matter into the top 4-6 inches of soil, heavier-duty tillers can reach depths of 8 inches
  • Aim for 5% organic