Dear Editor,

Thanks to the great weather recently, many of us have been inspired to get outside, enjoy spring and get ready for another growing season. This is the Good Earth Company’s fifth year in business making commercial compost and it’s our busiest spring yet. People are becoming more conscious of making “greener” choices, and looking for alternatives to chemical additives in their yards. We want to build our soil and have our gardens respond to our hours of devotion. The word is spreading and the results are speaking for themselves.

Whether you grow plants in a pot, in a bed or in a field, the most important thing is the condition of the soil. All cropped soils need organic material added every year because, as we harvest, the soil gets depleted of the organic matter. Organic matter is essential to have for a healthy growing medium. Organic matter binds the minerals that exist in the soil and make them readily available for plants. It is organic matter that is responsible for the creation of loose, crumbly, humus-rich texture that plants thrive in. In comparison, it is the hard clumps of ground (in our area we typically have lots of clay) that are not optimal for plant growth. By continuously adding organics to our gardens and building up our soils, we can get better results from our gardening efforts.

A safe bet to ensure that the dirt in your plant pots and garden beds is ready for the season is to add a quarter to a third compost. On existing garden beds, lay two inches on top and work into the soil as much as possible. For lawns, top dressing and half an inch of compost is a basic rule. Happy gardening!

Kate Anderson

Merritt, B.C.