Niles Township has expanded and upgraded its on-site gardens in recent years in support of sustainability and the environment. Our gardens also supply the Niles Township Food Pantry with food.
Grow your soil to grow your garden!
Most of the problems that plague gardens are related to the overall health of the soil. Examples include blossom rot, pest and disease susceptibility, and premature death (!). Adding compost to the soil is the most efficient way to improve soil structure, add nutrients, and grow happier, healthier plants.
This is as true in the flower garden as it is in the vegetable plot. Also, it’s very easy. (We agree that easy is best). Most gardens in Niles Township need to amend heavy clay soils. Adding composted materials such as cotton burr, leaf-mold, well-rotted manure, and composted pest-free yard waste can improve drainage, soil structure, aeration, and reduce compaction problems.
I always dig cotton burr compost into new garden beds before I plant and then top dress with leaf-mold or composted manure in subsequent seasons. I do not use chemical fertilizers because I do need them to increase the yield in my veg beds or the flowers in my perennial gardens. My plants get all the nutrients they need to thrive from the amended beds.