Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Importance of Soil

I'd love to assure you that all you need are our amazing heirloom seeds with their spectacular germination rates.  But the truth is, soil is also important to maximum production and a healthy harvest.  Within your soil are beneficial microbes and essential nutrients. Some soil is more fertile than others which is why we use soil amendments.

If you have access to homemade compost or manure then you're well on your way to healthy, fertile soil.  Not everyone has those things at the fingertips so amendments are important.  You don't want to overuse fertilizers but you also need to give back to your soil what your plants are taking in order to have balance.

First, we'll start with the basics: N-P-K
That stands for Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K)

From Plant Nutrients - Getting Started,
What does each nutrient do? In addition to other properties, Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong. Phosphorous helps roots and flowers grow and develop. Potassium (Potash) is important for overall plant health.

Organic Alfalfa Meal

Derived from leguminous perennial alfalfa plant used for pasture and cover crop. Primary benefit of this pleasant smelling meal is increasing organic matter, although it is also a valuable plant-derived fertilizer.
  • NPK analysis is 2.8-0.29-2.4
  • Contains trace minerals and triaconatol
  • Excellent addition to the compost pile for nitrogen content and absorbency
  • Roses respond especially well to alfalfa meal
  • WSDA Certified Organic Alfalfa Meal

Organic Blood Meal  12-0-0

Blood Meal is a 100% natural fertilizer that's extremely rich in nitrogen. Provides a consistent source of minerals and nutrients for plants considered "heavy feeders."
Keep your plant soil healthy with this nitrogen rich fertilizer
Depending upon the crops you grow, soil that has been too often planted can start to lose its growing potential. Over time, the minerals and nutrients that plants need to grow and stay healthy become depleted. Blood meal helps restore these lost nutrients and revitalize depleted gardening beds.
Blood meal is an all natural powdered fertilizer that contains one of the highest, non-synthetic nitrogen counts (12-0-0) available.

  • Easy to use  
  • Works in gardens, yards, lawns, and soil beds
  • Perfect for revitalizing soils that have been heavily worked
  • Scent serves as a deterrent to common garden pests such as rabbits and deer
  • Also helps accelerate composting breakdown of carbon based composts such as leaves and straw
Blood Meal works quickly, providing “heavy” feeding plants such as corn, lettuce, and okra with the high amounts of nitrogen. This fast acting organic fertilizer works to build new growth and keeps mature plants healthy and green. Blood meal can help brown, spotted, or wilting plants recover by infusing the soil around their roots with nutrients and minerals essential to healthy plant growth.
More information about Blood Meal
Blood Meal works with bacteria and nematodes in the soil to breakdown the powder into nitrogen components so plants can more easily absorb the nutrients. This increased bacterial process adds life to your soil base, causing increased root growth and a stronger overall root system.
Because Blood Meal has such a high nitrogen count, applications should be spread out enough to allow time for the plant to use the extra nutrients. Overuse could result in excessive amounts of nitrogen being present, which can damage plants instead of feeding them. This phenomenon is known as “burning” and occurs with nearly all fertilizers when they are overused.

Organic Bone Meal   4-12-0

How can you tell if your garden has a phosphorus deficiency? The easiest way to tell is to look at the plants. If your plants are small, are producing little or no flowers and have a bright green or purplish cast to them, you have a phosphorus deficiency. Since most plants in the garden are grown for their flowers or fruit, replacing phosphorus in the soil if it is lacking is very important.

Phosphorus is involved in many plant processes, including:

  • Energy transfer reactions
  • Development of reproductive structures
  • Crop maturity
  • Root growth
  • Protein synthesis
Work the bone meal into the soil well if you are planting a new bed. If you are fertilizing existing plants, rake the top 2 inches of soil around the plants with a bow rake or hoe to work in the bone meal. Use care to avoid disturbing the plant roots.


  • Give Plants the Vital Minerals They need to Thrive
  • Great soil additive for all plants
Azomite rock dust is a naturally mined volcanic rock composed of over 70 minerals and trace elements that are essential for optimal plant health. The rock formation in Utah from which Azomite is mined was formed when volcanic ash merged with sea water an estimated 30 million years ago. This mixture of volcanic ash and sea water created a unique source of trace minerals and elements that moist soils are void of. Just like humans, plants require many minerals to reach peak health and vigor. Re-minerlaize your soil with Azomite and your plants will thank you and reward you!


  • Greensand is a mined mineral rich in soil conditioning glauconite
  • Contains potash and other minerals from natural marine deposits
  • Excellent soil conditioner
  • Carrying a formulation of 0-0-0.1
Greensand turns dense, heavy clay into manageable soil. Greensand is a naturally-occurring iron-potassium silicate that can increase soil's moisture absorption by up to ten times. Also contains over 30 trace minerals

NOW thru April 10th, Mary's Heirloom Seeds is offering GREENSAND and Mary's Organic Plant Food at a discount.  Check out the special before it's sold out!

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!


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Unknown said...

Thanks for compiling all this! We add compost and manure each year before we plant the garden, but I know that the garden needs more! I am pinning this for future reference. Have a great spring.

Unknown said...

I think many people forget that good soil is the most important thing. Great post and thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll link party