I use mycorrhizal inoculant in my organic garden almost every time I plant and seed. I wouldn't plant without it.
Update: About 2 1/2 years after writing this, I decided to start selling the mycorrhizal inoculant I use. You can learn more about it here.
Over 95% of plant species form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi provide nutrients and water to their host plants in exchange for carbohydrates and other goodies.
In fact, many plants will trade more than 50% of their carbohydrates with these fungi and other microbes. Mycorrhizal fungi greatly improve soil characteristics, and are among the most important microbes that form relationships with plants.
So, your compost pile is ready and you want to know how to use compost in your organic garden. Here are 4 things to remember:
The best time of year for using compost is in the spring and fall when the conditions are best for the microbes. I might use a little in the summer when I'm filling in the spaces in my vegetable garden, but mostly it's spring and fall.
If you're going to buy manure or use manure in your organic garden, you'll want to read this email I received from Janet, one of my readers. It's a good story with a very important warning:
"I have a sad composting/soil tale to share that I’d like to share with as many gardeners in the area as possible so please pass this along.
As many of you know, I’ve been an organic gardener for many years, making my own compost, using natural ingredients. I might buy manure or find it free. Last week I diagnosed a problem with my soil, specifically with some of my tomato plants due to a batch of "killer manure."
If you're looking for gardening advice on GMOs, I have 2 tips. We've known for over a decade that genetically-modified organisms wreak havoc when unleashed into the environment.
And yet The New York Times is still being a good corporate spokesperson, muddying the facts and leaving much room for doubt about whether or not these problems exist (or just practicing good, unbiased journalism, depending on your point of view).
Are you going to think I'm crazy for suggesting that you absolutely 100% should consider using molasses as fertilizer in your organic garden?
If the health of your garden is suffering, if some of your plants are riddled with pests, or if you just want to grow the best plants possible, molasses fertilizer may be what you need.
Actually, it's not so much a fertilizer as food for the beneficial microorganisms in your soil and on your leaves. Molasses definitely has some nutrients, too, but it's mostly about the carbohydrates - the sugar.
There are a few important things you need to know about where to buy compost.
I encourage people to compost themselves if possible, but I know that some gardeners will find it easier buying compost. In terms of how to buy compost, you can go to your local garden center, a compost/soil/mulch provider, a farmer, or the municipality.
You can buy compost in bags, but I almost always go for bulk. That's less expensive and I usually need to bring in at least a yard.
There are many organic fertilizer products available online.
Many are not particularly good (potentially even harmful), so I thought I'd browse through and make a list of the best organic fertilizer products you can find online at Amazon.com.
If you're on a quest for some organic vegetable garden design ideas, here are 3 unique tips to think about when planning a vegetable garden.
I have a few tips I've really been wanting to share on organic vegetable gardening for beginners.
I'm going to lay out my 7 most important organic gardening tips for starting a vegetable garden.
I have 3 important organic gardening tips for you. You don't have to tattoo them onto your knuckles - remembering them will suffice.
If you've read my book, you know that I tend to get rather detailed in my organic gardening practices, because I like the process of perfecting my soil in order to get the healthiest possible plants - especially food plants.
But the fact is that we can have some pretty decent gardens by remembering to follow just the basics.
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