Getting back to gardening after a long hiatus, and doing raised bed gardening versus till and row for the first time, I am learning this personally. Thanks for your post.jal_ut wrote:Manure and compost are great soil amendments. I said soil. Yes, soil is that wonderful layer that covers much of the earth and is what plants grow in. Start with Soil then add a bit of manure or compost. An inch of manure or compost is plenty if mixed in well. If your soil is heavy in clay, add some sand to loosen it up.but the majority of the top layer is compost and composted manure.
Manure and compost are very close to the same thing; partially digested organic matter. Rich in plant nutrients, but too "hot" for good growing by themselves. I have seen garden plots ruined for two years by the application of too much manure. Nothing would grow. ("If a little manure or compost is good, a whole lot is better." is a poor assumption. )
Most soils contain clay, silt, sand, humus, organic matter, chemicals, water, and a host of living organisms: bacteria, yeasts, fungi, worms, and insects. A vital part of soil is the mineral part, sand silt and clay. I think too many gardeners try to make phony soil and forget or ignore this requirement.
Our goal should be to improve our soil, not try to make soil. Have you ever wondered how long it took to make the soil that covers this earth? Have you taken a moment to see the bounty that grows in real soil?
May I suggest that we start with real soil and amend it with the goal of improving its fertility?