Home and community gardeners may not realize the powerful opportunity they have to make a positive, meaningful impact.
- Disturb the soil as little as possible. Till or plow only if you must break new ground. In established beds, gently remove weeds without tilling.
- Never allow soil to remain bare. During the growing season, cover soil with an organic mulch such as straw, bark mulch, or pine straw.
- During the off-season, plant a cover crop to nurture the soil ecosystem, deter weeds, prevent soil compaction from heavy rains, and add nutrients.
- Include some perennial plants in your annual flower and vegetable beds. These plants’ roots – and the carbon they contain – remain intact year-round.
- Add compost – homemade or purchased to soil every year. Soil microbes consume organic matter, such as compost, and need to have a continual supply.
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