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how to get soil to an organic level

weatherly, United States

I have on and off used miracle gro in my garden unknown of its toxicity. I have also used non organic plants. How do I get my garden soil to a healthy state again? Is it possible?

Montreal, Canada

Hello - I just joined this forum as well. While I have a large garden - I've only been gardening for a couple of years and feel I still have a lot to learn. I don't have a direct solution to your question but only a little personal observation. I've been trying out concepts of permaculture which treats gardens as a system - certain plants contribute to the needs and requirements of other plants. Clover, for example, fixes nitrogen from the air - so it's a natural ground fertilizer. It also traps in moisture.

For years my front lawn was in terrible soil shape and grass refused to grow there. Last year we threw down a grass/clover mix but all that grew was the clover. It actually makes a beautiful carpet - certainly better than brown earth & weeds. What's interesting though is that since the clover has been growing, all the other plants in the area have perked up and started growing luciously (extra fertilizer + water?).

Not that I want grass (too much hassle) but I would think that after a few years of clover, the soil might eventually improve enough to sustain grass. My point is not to champion clover specifically, but to suggest that there are many plants that can naturally contribute to soil improvement (nitrogen fixers & dynamic accumulators) and might look nice in the process.

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