Organic matter

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has any advice. I am doing my best to have a purely organic / natural garden, but I live in South Florida and it is a challenge with extremely sandy soil. The more organic matter I can get in my garden the better, but i live in a county that is pretty much one big city. Finding free stuff or cheap stuff is nearly impossible. There are no farms to ask for manure, hay, and even fall leaves are hard to come buy (trees don't lose all their leaves down here). Anyway, someone told me that no cardboard or newspaper should ever get thrown out. It should all go in the garden. I've heard of the layering to control weeds with it. My question is, is cardboard and newspaper really adding anything good to your soil? Is there anything in it that will actually help build real soil out of sand? Hopefully someone can help..

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

My personal opinion is, -
cardboard is wonderful, newspaper is not, -small amounts of newspaper will not hurt anything. and small amounts of tilled in [used] kitty litter are OK and help remedy the sugar sand soil.- lots of organic material sources like these have heavy metals or ink in them - but those on a budget need to build the soil anyway they can.
When I gardened in Florida, I found some small horse farms that were paying to have their manure and soiled bedding removed, - they were happy to have me remove some of it for them and save them some money. -I made raised beds [with a shovel -not lumber] and piled the horse manure in between the beds in the furrow/ walkway created by shoveling the dirt up to make beds. In a few years I had nice black loamy soil.

orangeville, Canada

Do you compost your kitchen scraps? You'd be surprised at how much goes to waste, like peelings, cores, eggshells, etc.. Just don't add meat, or it will attract a lot of wildlife. You can get one of those composting barrels if you are worried about critters getting in there. Good luck!

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