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Maintaining Vegetable Garden Soil Fertility

Posted December 30, 2016

When we initially begin our soil preparation in the greenhouse and outside in our raised beds we add blood meal, rock phosphate or bonemeal (switching these two from year to year) and greensand.  Our beds are in constant production which depletes the soil.  Spring crops benefit from the initial amending, but we switch to alfalfa meal for summer crops. Clearing of the old crops, apply compost and slightly work in with a broad fork and adding a sprinkling of alfalfa meal (5-10 lbs per 100 sq ft) with a quick raking to work into the top 1" of soil.  This is an inexpensive way to feed the new crops and keeping it simple.  

Alfafa meal supplies primary nutrients and contains some trace minerals.  It is also beneficial to soil organisms and contains a plant growth regulator that results in larger flowers as well as increased cold tolerance.  

Because alfalfa meal is a plant based fertilizer, it may be a better choice for those who have pets that enjoy the garden space as well. 

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